KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) — The 2014 Umno general assembly concluded today with a very clear message, namely, solidarity for Malaysia.
All Malaysians have no choice. Political stability and solidarity between the various races are key to ensure that Malaysia remain peaceful and enjoy harmony while realising the objective to become a developed nation with high income by the year 2020.
The decision to retain the Sedition Act 1948, the firmness regarding the special privileges of the Malays and Bumiputera, the monarchy and Islamic religion as enshrined in the national constituton actually aimed to achieve solidarity among the multiracial people of the country.
Using the stage of the annual general assembly of the largest Malay party which has 3.47 million members, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak bravely and firmly said that matters pertaining to the special privileges could not be disputed by anyone.
This proved that the government heard and considered the views of the people who objected to the abolition of the Sedition Act following several issues and action by several groups that touched on sensitive issues to the extent of creating racial and religious tension.
The prime minister’s message on solidarity, that is to be united in a single strong force is not only for the solidarity of the Malays and Bumiputera, solidarity of Umno, but the most important is the Malaysian solidarity.
In a situation where Umno is facing changes and a differing political landscape that is challenging, the party that is the pillar of the Barisan Nasional (BN) is not only responsible for the Malays and Bumiputera but also all the races in the country.
The government’s firmness in retaining the Sedition Act is to protect the security of all Malaysians and not just the Malays and Bumiputera.
Although the move is seen as a u-turn after it was suggested that the Sedition Act was to be abolished in July 2012, the act was not only retained but also strengthened with two special provisions to protect the sanctity of Islam and the other religions and to prosecute those who incited for the secession of Sabah and Sarawak from Malaysia.
The freedom of expression is not everything. Democracy in Malaysia must follow its own mould and benefit the whole population.
“This is about the proctection for all. We do not want any religious and ethnic conflict to occur in this country. We will do our utmost to prevent this from happening, that is most important,” said Najib.
On Umno, Najib who took over leadership of the party in 2009, said the party must produce second liners whose spirit for the cause was similar to that when Umno was first established.
Listening to the woes of the younger generation who want to join the party’s struggles, Umno will allow youths from the age of 18 to register for their membership online, and will be managed by the central Umno Headquarters registration division.
For Umno to carry out its rejuvenation process, Youth Chief Khairy Jamaluddin said this does not mean replacing the veterans with younger members but is translated to an overall context.
The 5,739 delegates who attended the assembly, including the wings, generally agreed that the collaboration between the old and new was important to strengthen the party and garner support from the public, especially the youths.
The assembly which was awaited by many parties to discuss issues touched on the economy of the Malays and Bumiputera, upholding Islam and access to education and the party’s direction to ensure it met the people’s aspirations which change with the times.