Change for the better. The opening address for the Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri wings' proceedings is traditionally made by the Deputy President of the party. If all goes to plan later this week, that task will go to Muhyiddin Yasin next year. As for Najib, last night's address was his last as the Deputy President. He will take over from Abdullah Ahmad Badawi as Umno president at the end of this week and is due to be sworn in as the country's 6th Prime Minister on April 3, 2009.
The address covers a good spectrum of issues: the socio-economic concerns, national unity, history of the nation, and even the need to win the cyber war. A recurring theme in the speech is the need for change and for Umno to have leaders who are not averse to change. Consistent with this theme, Najib proposes that Umno reviews the sytem of electing its leaders to be more democratic, corruption-proof, and involve not just the 2,600 delegates from the party's 191 divisions nationwide.
Some passages of the address sound a little like Mahathir's, too. Example:
55. Melayu dan UMNO tidak dapat dipisahkan. Bagai aur dengan
tebing, bagai irama dengan lagu, apabila orang Melayu dan UMNO bergerak sederap dan seiring, sejarah telah membuktikan bahawa maruah dan martabat bangsa telah berjaya diangkasakan. Namun apabila orang Melayu mula menjadi seperti enau dalam belukar ingin melepaskan pucuk masing-masing sehingga ada yang sanggup membelakangkan kepentingan bangsa, maka anasir-anasir tertentu telah mula menyelinap dan menangguk di air yang keruh. Kini orang Melayu tampak seolah-olah hilang punca dan kekuatan. Akibatnya, telah mula ada pihak-pihak yang mempersoalkan apa yang sudah dipersetujui dan termaktub dalam perlembagaan. Ada pula yang berani menuduh kita mengamalkan dasar aparteid. Sedangkan ini jauh menyimpang dari kebenaran.
Get Najib's full speech h e r e.
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
Najib's last address to Youth, Wanita and Puteri
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