PEKAN, Sept 12 (Bernama) — Prime Minister and UMNO president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today he has never “bought” party division chiefs or delegates for their support.
He said he only helped the party through the divisional chiefs by having specific programmes for the people.
“Some division chiefs are just former PPD (District Education Officers). How much do they have in assets? If they have to carry out these programmes, it will be detrimental for them.
“So, the assistance I offer is for the party, not to buy the division chiefs,” he said when opening the Pekan UMNO Division delegates meeting at the Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Convention Hall here.
Also present at the event were Najib’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, Pahang Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob and Pekan UMNO Division deputy chief Datuk Abu Bakar Harun.
The Pekan UMNO division delegates meeting today is the last of the 191 divisional delegates meetings which began on July 27.
Najib, who is also Pekan UMNO Division chief, said: “All my life, I have contested many posts but I have never bought delegates. I have never done so. If there are people who accuse me of having done that, then that amounts to slander.”
He said his every action was aimed at strengthening the party so that it could move forward.
He also said that it was wrong to equate his style of leadership with that of past leaders because each person had his own style and approach to leading a party.
Najib reminded the delegates of the new political challenges that were influenced by the development of the social media.
The prime minister said that hitherto there was a limitation on the means employed to tarnish or topple a leader, but with the development of the social media everything was at one’s finger tips.
“With the social media, it is easy to poison the people’s minds to hate leaders; the good they have done is discarded, but one or two mistakes they made will be magnified as though the end is nigh.
“This is happening to me now because I am the party president. It is the norm to target attacks at the head of the party. If the trust in the chief is lost, it is easy to topple the party at any time; that’s the formula,” he said.
Referring to the murder of Mongolian model Altantuya Shaariibu, Najib said the issue was being raised with the intention of tarnishing his image.
“I have never met this woman and, though I have sworn thrice in a mosque, there are people who do not believe this and are raising the matter again.
“This is political, to topple a leader. It’s as though there is a conspiracy to topple UMNO as the party that underpins the national leadership and administration,” he said.
As such, Najib said, UMNO members should be wise and capable enough to screen information and identify the new political scenario so that they were not misled by unsubstantiated information that could undermine the country’s success.
He also reiterated that he would continue to helm the government and party so long as he had the support and expressed confidence that he would be able to stand up to all the political challenges and problems he faced now with the support and confidence of party members.