Thursday, October 23, 2008

Najib: Umno must have wider appeal to remain in power

By Adib Zalkapli

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 23 - Umno deputy presient Datuk Seri Najib Razak today urged Umno leaders to take steps to appeal to a wider audience to remain in power.

He said the wider audience included non-Umno members as well as non-Malays.

He was commenting on the statement by Tun Musa Hitam that Umno has become too introverted by focusing on its problems and looking for acceptance among its members, but not among the general public.

"I have always said that, holding a post, for example if you are a divisional head, that is not the end of it all. It is just the beginning of your responsibility. Your responsibility is not just to members of Umno but also to the people at large," he told reporters here.

"There is a tendency for Umno leaders, particularly at divisional level, to look within the context of just the members of Umno The time has come to look beyond that, and realise if you want to remain in power, you have to appeal to a wider audience, and wider audience includes all sections of people including those who are not Umno members and non-Malays as well," added Najib.

Last weekend, a fake manifesto attributed to Najib was circulated via the internet, where he purportedly declared that he would defend the supremacy of the Malays till the last drop of his blood.

On Musa's suggestion that the Umno leadership must be made up of younger leaders, Najib said everyone has a role to play in Umno.

"Although in terms of active leadership, most Umno members believe that there must be a generational change in Umno at every level, and in my opinion everything that happens is a natural process in the party," said Najib.

When asked to comment on Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi's remark last weekend that Datuk Seri Ali Rustam should not be stopped from contesting the party number two post, Najib said: "There is nothing wrong with that, anyone can contest, as long as the constitutional requirement is fulfilled." - The Malaysian Insider

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