Najib: People want aid not ‘useless’ referendums

PETALING JAYA: Umno president Najib Razak took another swipe at his chief critic Dr Mahathir Mohamad today by reminding party members that Umno was not born out of hatred, frustration or an attempt to topple a leader.

In another reference to Dr Mahathir, he said the action taken by certain quarters in initiating a referendum and a declaration against him would not benefit the people in any way.

Najib did not mention Dr Mahathir by name but the former premier has campaigned for a People’s Declaration seeking Najib’s removal from office as Umno president and Malaysian prime minister, and has formed a new party, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, by which to oust the Najib government.

“The people cannot live with this kind of politics…the people can live when we give them aid and assistance, such as the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M), schooling aid, mini projects, ‘duit Raya’, bonus and the like,” he said, according to Bernama.

“These are the matters that would ensure people’s welfare and wellbeing, not all those useless (referendum and declaration) things,” he said.

He reminded party members that Umno was a sacred party born on the steps of the Istana Besar Johor, out of patriotism to reject colonialism and to defend Malay dignity and honour.

“Umno was not born out of hatred, Umno was not born out of frustration, Umno was not born in an attempt to topple a leader. If those were the foundations of our struggle, then what we have done were not based on the idealism of fighting for something noble and sacred,” he said, Bernama reported.

“Without a clear aspiration, or with only anger, hatred and unfulfilled personal ambition, the struggle will not last long,” he said when opening the Jelebu Umno delegates’ meeting.

Najib said Umno had been able to stand the tests of time because of its idealism. “Whether we were fighting communist insurgents or facing the economic downturn, Umno had been able to stand strong because we have an aspiration to protect our dignity and honour,” he said.