PUTRAJAYA: What would have been a celebration of pomp and grandeur, Umno turned 75 without any fanfare, no thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.
There were no gatherings, no dinner, no speeches or celebrations on Tuesday (May 11) to mark this significant milestone of the country’s largest political party.
Umno was founded on May 11,1946.
But thanks to social media, Umno leaders made use of the platform to commemorate the occasion and to reach out to its three million-odd members to relay their message in conjunction with the Diamond Jubilee anniversary.
Party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the anniversary should serve as a reminder to its members of how long Umno’s journey has been and that all should ensure the party continues to exist.
He said Umno needed to change with the times and ensure that its struggles are relevant with the wishes, demands and aspirations of the people.
“History is there for us to learn from, from what we have done, gone through, our successes and failures in the past.
“But what is equally important is that we look towards the future and see what Umno can do and offer the people so that the party can still be around to celebrate its 100 years, ” he said.
In his message, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan named three things the party needs to do “if Umno wants to continue to celebrate its birthdays”.
“Stop recalling our good old days and glorious times, when the fact is we are facing turbulence and that things are not as rosy as before.
“Secondly, our leaders must be intergenerational. Generational changes happen and it must be accepted. Ideas and the best political thinking no longer comes with age but with quality ideas, thoughts and wisdom, ” he said.
The party’s values and missions, Mohamad added, must be fought by those who want to see Umno remain alive and “not those whose lives depend on the party”.
Umno’s three vice-presidents also called on Umno to remain strong so that it can continue its fights and struggles.
Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said for the past 75 years, Umno has served not just the Malays but had also protected other races.
“To Umno members, we must continue with our struggles so that the party can continue to look after Malaysians, ” he said.
Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid said Umno’s credibility is unquestionable and its service to the community is unmatchable.
“Whatever situation this party faces, its work to defend the people never stops, ” he said.
Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said that if Umno wants to return to power, the party must be strong and its members united.
“In the 2018 general election, Umno was strong and united. We were part of the government. Despite all this, we lost.
“Now, we are not the government and the party is not strong. If we are not united, we will not win the next election, ” he pointed out.