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Saturday May 11, 2013 MYT 5:02:00 PM
Tuesday August 6, 2013 MYT 5:04:27 PM
by mazwin nik anis, razak ahmad, AND farik zolkepli
KUALA LUMPUR: After 67 years in existence, Umno remains a strong and successful party but needs to reflect on its weaknesses if it wants continuous support from the people.
Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Saturday the party, which has been given a mandate for the next five years must be humble and respect the wishes of the rakyat.
"We gather here in this august hall as a party that is strong. The election results which saw the number of seats Umno won increase from 79 to 88 is our testimony.
"Let us correct our weaknesses, thank those who are with us and find ways to win over those who have yet to support us in the 14th general election," he said in his address at Umno's 67th anniversary.
The celebration was also attended by former party president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek and his deputy Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai, MIC president Datuk Seri G. Palanivel and Gerakan president Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
Najib said Umno, who has been in power continuously for more than six decades could be considered as the world's most successful political party.
He reiterated that Umno was not a racist party but one that was inclusive and moderate.
"We ensure justice to all who have rights and regard everyone as our partner.We will defend policies which are fair, equitable and moderate," he stressed.
Najib pledged that Umno and Barisan Nasional would not allow Pakatan Rakyat's "opportunistic politics" to destroy everything that it had worked for.
"Even though we have been strongly challenged in the election, in the end, Malaysians had decided that they want continuity and stability," he said.
Najib called on party members to work as a team so that Umno could guarantee to all Malaysians that it could help to make the country peaceful, prosperous and successful.
Meanwhile, Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in his message said the party must undergo a more comprehensive and radical political transformation process.
"This is to allow Umno to become a Malay, Islamic and Malaysian political party which is more dynamic, inclusive and visionary so that the party can become universal in terms of its struggle without forgetting its original objectives," he said.
Muhyiddin, who is deputy Barisan chairman said component parties must also undertake bigger reform efforts so that they could be accepted by all races.
He called on Umno to increase effort to reach out to the Malay middle class in the urban areas, adding that the younger generation was also another important group that the party must do more to woo.
Muhyiddin also urged members to pledge loyalty to Umno and to fully support Najib to continue leading the party and the country.
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