Pick “dacing” and Malaysia will continue to soar


Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak (seated, centre) and vice presidents Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (seated, third left) and Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein(seated, second left) in a photo call with Umno Youth exco in conjunction with Umno General Assembly 2017 at Putra World Trade Centre today. Also seen are Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin (seated, third right), secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor (seated, left) and treasurer Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak (seated, second right). – Bernama photo

KUALA LUMPUR: All eyes were trained on the man of the hour, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, as he delivered his policy address at the Umno general assembly today –  the final party gathering before the 14th general election (GE14) expected early next year.

In one-and-a-half hours, the prime minister and UMNO president laid bare his plans and hopes for Malaysia and its 32 million population if Barisan Nasional, of which UMNO is the backbone, was returned to power for another five-year term.

Backed by an irrefutable track record of achievements, he presented before an audience of over 5,000 party faithful a compelling case why Umno and BN should continue to be in charge of the federal administrative capital of Putrajaya.

And he did so in a carefully-crafted speech, admitting that he took quite some time to ponder about things that should be incorporated into it, doing so through a series of dialogue, heart-to-heart discussions and brainstorming sessions.

Najib, who is also BN chairman, deftly tackled what the party had to do in the ‘last mile’ phase towards GE14 and peppered his speech with the achievements notched under his eight-year rule, with a side of opposition bashing thrown in.

In the speech delivered in Dewan Merdeka at the Putra World Trade Centre party headquarters here, Najib said the fruits of GE14 victory would be theirs if party members were willing to work as a team armed with a winning mentality, an indefatigable fighting spirit and avoiding sabotage.

He put the options squarely on the table – go for the “dacing” with UMNO and BN and Malaysia would scale greater heights –  or go downhill if the opposition was voted in.

The Umno leader also cautioned them against the dangers of political perception, lies and half-truths of the opposition that played havoc with Umno and the government’s image in the last election.

He recalled the infamous bogus claim of 40,000 phantom voters “imported” from Bangladesh and the brouhaha over the use of indelible ink sprouted by the opposition camp in their bid to derail BN’s election push.

Najib urged Umno’s over three million members and BN’s more than seven million members to be cybertroopers to help counter negative perceptions and spread the truth.

“The real war in this coming election will be waged in the cyberworld and digital realm. We have everything to lose if we fail to join in,” Najib said.

The prime minister went on the offensive against the opposition, deriding DAP’s dynastic leadership tendencies and former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir-led Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s ill-managed party meetings.

“How can you expect to govern a country if you can’t even handle your party meetings,” he said in a sarcastic tone.

Najib reserved his harshest words for Dr Mahathir, labelling him as a “Melayu mudah lupa” when the nonagenarian crossed the line and joined hands with his arch-political rivals to form a posse bent on attacking the government.

On the opposition’s failure to see eye-to-eye on certain issues like the Goods and Services Tax (GST), he had this to say: “The only thing consistent with them as the opposition is that they’re continuously inconsistent.”

On the economic front, Najib who is finance minister rapped the opposition over claims that Malaysia was a failed state that would soon be bankrupt.

He said facts and figures did not support this, highlighting the country’s GDP growth of 6.2 per cent in the third quarter of 2017 – among the highest in the world – an achievement proving that the country’s economic management was on track.

He also alluded to the current foreign reserves of RM429 billion.

Najib tabled a report card of sorts in what he and his administration had done for the people in areas like education, as health and other people-centric initiatives like the well-received 1Malaysia People’s Aid programme and the Urban Transformation Centre – a one-stop public amenities facility. – Bernama

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