TUMPAT: Umno president Najib Razak said today he would hand over a strong government and party to his successor to carry on with the legacy of leaders before him.
However, to realise this, Umno members must remain loyal and not criticise the current party leadership despite having differences of opinion.
“Our struggle goes beyond leaders. When I retire, I want to hand over a strong government and party. I will ask my successor to take the government and party to greater heights than they were during my administration,” he said.
Najib was here for a community event and to open the Tumpat Umno division assembly at Sekolah Kebangsaan Kubang Batang.
He said he held his predecessor, Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, in high regard and appreciated the latter’s request to him to take Malaysia to greater heights than during Abdullah’s own administration.
When the time came for him to step aside, it would never be his desire to interfere in his sucessor’s administration, to the extent of setting up a new political party.
Najib said Umno members must safeguard what the party had built over the years and should not do anything to destroy it.
He reminded members that Muslims were encouraged to criticise their leaders in a proper manner besides adopting the ‘musyawwarah’ (meeting) and ‘syura’ (consultation) approaches.
“We must safeguard our party, consolidate our struggle. Even after having been a leader for 22 years, he does not understand … wants to topple the party.
“Don’t cross the line. The party is our heritage. Adopt proper procedures in accordance with the party and Islamic concepts,” he said without naming any leader.
Najib said Umno leaders, particularly those in Kelantan, must remain humble and adapt themselves to the local situation in order for the party and Barisan Nasional to win the next general election.
“Leaders must go down to the ground with the proper attitude that is welcomed and accepted by the people. Do not drive there in a luxury car. Do not forget to fulfil promises, do not be arrogant. These are taboo in Kelantan. Be a leader in accordance with the local situation,” he said.
“When one places one’s interests above the party’s, there is bound to be conflict and disunity. Then, do not hope of winning (elections). Do not be a sheep in wolf’s clothing, being nice to leaders and condemning them behind their backs,” he said.