Umno president Najib Tun Razak also said that Umno is not a racist party and will help all "but we want this country to be helmed by Umno Malays'.
KUALA LUMPUR: Umno president Najib Tun Razak today revealed that his wife had played a vital role on two instances involving diplomatic circles.
“I have never told this before. Two years ago, a Malaysian student was detained after he was suspected to be a spy by Egypt.
“I told my wife (Rosmah Mansor) to appeal to the then President Mubarak’s wife. In two hours, the student was released.
“Then during Operation Pyramid in Saudi Arabia, we made an impossible request to get our students out without visa.
‘She used her diplomatic connections and got them out. The Saudi government even offered two jumbo jets to help us extract our students,” he said while delivering his closing speech at Umno’s 67th annual general meeting in Dewan Merdeka, Putra World Trade Centre today.
Najib’s revelation comes on the heel of a recent outcry over the government’s need to rent jets for her personal use.
Rosmah’s active involvement in the country’s diplomatic circles has been fodder for the opposition and Najib-BN critics.
She also previously had an audience with Singapore Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew when he visited Malaysia.
GLCs to implement BEA
Touching on religion, Najib also told the delegates present that the government is committed to raising the standards of Islam and defending the sanctity of the faith.
“I have discussed with Jamil Khir Baharom (Supreme Council member and Minister in Prime Minister’s Department) to amend the party constitution to state that Islam is the religion of the federation and we will follow Sunni Islam,” he said.
He also spoke on the implementation of the Bumiputera Economic Agenda (BEA) which came under scrutiny after it was launched several months ago.
“I have met chief executive officers (CEO) of all government linked companies (GLC). I stressed to them that BEA is a national economic agenda and they have to implement it.
“I will see their scorecards which will determine their jobs remain with them,” he said.
He also defended the policy as a policy that ensures the security of the majority.
“In the West, affirmative action is for minority. Here if the majority Malays and Bumis (66.7%) are not successful it would be very bad.
“Umno is not racist. Umno has been fair to all. We want to share with the Chinese, Indians, Kadazans and Ibans but we want this country to be helmed by Umno Malays,” he said.
Najib also addressed the less favored economic decisions that his administration took by removing sugar subsidy, petrol price hike and upcoming increase in the electricity tariffs.
“It is a short term pain for a long term gain. When we removed subsidy international ratings agency, Moody’s gave us a positive outlook.
“We can rise to A3 – A5 ratings. It is important to have a healthy economic outlook,” said Najib who added the move was vital to realize a developed nation status in 2020.