Mahathir tells Malays to face challenges head-on


  • Nation
  • Monday, 12 May 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: The destiny of the Malays is firmly linked to Vision 2020, said Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad. 

He said the Malays, however, needed different emphasis to achieve the aims as set out in the national long-term plan. 

“The Malays have the same road map as the other Malaysians, which is to achieve Vision 2020. But they have to focus more on mastering knowledge and changing to a better set of values,'' he said at a press conference after launching Umno's 57th anniversary celebrations at Stadium Merdeka last night. 

Dr Mahathir, who is Prime Minister, said some of the values the Malays must acquire were the preparedness to face any challenges and not taking the easy way out. 

Dr Mahathir, who bows out as Umno president in October, said the party's greatest achievement was to foil the British who tried to set up the Malayan Union and to win independence for the country. 

However, he noted that the country was not safe yet. “We are not prepared. We are still very relaxed and we don't think we are in any danger,'' he said. 

The party, he said, was still divided because some members were more interested in pursuing their own interest. 

He said some party members were more preoccupied with getting elected to become division chiefs, supreme council members or members of the Government. 

“These are incidental (to joining Umno). The most important thing is the struggle which is not over yet,'' he said. 

Dr Mahathir said Umno was generally united but there were some “seeds of disunity.” 

“Some members are disappointed because they are not appointed to certain posts. They become angry and try to split Umno or pull other members out of the party,'' he said. 

He said Umno members should not commit such acts against the party if they loved their race, religion and country. 

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