KUALA KETIL: Umno members, especially those in Kedah, should place party interests above the respect they have for any particular leader, said Umno Information chief Annuar Musa.
He said he understood there was a dilemma among Umno members, especially in the country’s rice bowl state, towards former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad, because he himself had admired and served under the former prime minister.
However, he said, party members should realise that Dr Mahathir’s struggles had now strayed far from what he himself had preached while he was the president of Umno.
“Dr Mahathir’s words are still fresh in my memory. If the people of Kedah feel sad and confused, I am also sad … why tell us something before, and do the opposite now … getting out of Umno, leaving the party, it contradicts what he (Dr Mahathir) said earlier.
“Today, I am also among those who are confused. The people of Kedah also have compassion, but in the history of Umno’s struggle, we never followed in the footsteps of any one individual,” he said when opening the Baling Umno Division delegates meeting here today.
Baling Umno Division chief Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim was also present.
Annuar said Umno members must think ahead, especially regarding the fate of the future generation if Umno was no longer in power to safeguard their interests.
He said Umno, which had contributed immensely to the development of the country and welfare of the people, was not merely a political party but a legacy which should be passed on for generations to come.
Annuar also requested Umno members at all levels to defend the party by giving the right perspective regarding the party so that people could get a clearer picture.
He said Umno was often accused of being racist and not upholding the true image of Islam, so much so that many people were influenced and stayed away from the party.
“Since its inception, Umno was never meant to be a racist party, it was not formed in its own silo, but instead took into account the consensus and cooperation among the different communities. But how many Umno members talk about these things?” he said.