Umno must gear up to face new party, says Mahdzir


KUALA LUMPUR: Umno Supreme Council member Mahdzir Khalid said the party would need to prepare itself to face yet another Malay-based party soon.

He said this was because the new party proposed by former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamad would add to the number of current parties aiming to woo the Malay votes.

“This is a democracy, anyone can form a party. But how many Malay parties do we have already? If you form another one, who else would you recruit as members but Malays?

He said Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) were prepared to face this new group as well as the other political parties.

Speaking at a press conference after opening the Setiawangsa Umno division meeting today, he expressed his confidence that not many Umno members would join the new party.

The new Bumiputera-based party would have ousted deputy prime minister Muhyiddin Yassin as president while Mahathir would hold the post of chairman.

According to veteran journalist A Kadir Jasin, the aim of the party is to continue and renew the Bumiputera struggle in the light of openness and reform. The new party would also work with other political parties in opposing BN.

While speaking to the delegates earlier, Mahdzir urged Umno members to ignore Mahathir’s move and instead to continue to feel proud to be part of Umno.

“We don’t have the time to bother with people like these. If it is so troublesome and too fussy, just leave and form your own party.

“We don’t have to care about other people’s business. We keep strong among ourselves. Don’t feel embarrassed or backwards about staying in Umno. This is a party with a vision and ideas in making decisions for the country,” he added.