KUALA LUMPUR: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi yesterday pledged his undivided loyalty to the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“My loyalty to the president (of Umno) will not waver as long as I am alive,” said the Umno vice-president , who is also carrying out the duties of Umno deputy president, in his winding-up speech at the 2017 Umno General Assembly at Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here yesterday.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Home Minister, also thanked Najib for putting his trust in him, from his appointment as (Najib’s) political secretary in 1987 to his present position.
“This close relationship has enabled me to assist him since the early days,” he said.
In his speech lasting about 30 minutes, Ahmad Zahid also called on the 2,718 delegates present to stand up and pledge their loyalty to the president and their commitment to ensure the victory of Umno and Barisan Nasional in the 14th general election (GE14).
Ahmad Zahid stressed that Umno under the leadership of Najib would not practise amassing power by an individual.
“No more concentrating of party power in one individual. Authoritarian politics is not in the leadership of the president. Each decision of the government and party is taken collectively with consultations. We carry out of these with consensus, which is a practice called ‘jiwa jamaié,’ he said.
Ahmad Zahid said with proposals and calls by delegates raised with boldness and candour, it proved that Umno under the leadership of Najib was more open.
“ In the past, the grassroots were hesitant to voice out for fear of political backlash. Today, there is no more walls. No gap between those at the top and those below. Democracy in Umno is flourishing indeed.”
He said the time the government knew everything had ended and now the people were more matured and wanted their voices to be heard.
On the role of Malaysia at the international level over the recognition of Jerusalem as the new capital of Israel by US President Donald Trump, Ahmad Zahid said he believed that the vocal voice of Najib in fighting the humanitarian issue would be given attention.
“The voice of the party president is no ordinary voice as he has consistently raised the issue on the plight of the Palestinians.
“When he was addressing the United Nations General Assembly, his voice of conscience had earned the respect of not only from Muslim countries but also the entire international community,” he said.
The Deputy Prime Minister said Najib would be representing the country at the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation’s (OIC) emergency meeting in Istanbul on Dec 13 to discuss the Palestine issue.
“Insya-Allah, Datuk Seri (Umno president) will bring the torch and voice of Umno, the voice of Malaysians to display our undivided support for the Palestinians,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also expressed his pride at Umno Youth led by Khairy Jamaluddin in carrying out a protest at the US Embassy on Friday with other parties and non-governmental organisations against Trump’s decision. — Bernama