PEKAN – Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said a retired leader should support his successor because his past strength was based on the support from Umno party members.
Najib, who took over the country’s administration from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, said every prime minister has the obligation to bring the country to a better position than the previous leaders.
“I still remember when I took over from Pak Lah, he said I want you to do better than what I have done and take this country to the next level. This is the heart of a sincere person despite handing over the post to me.
“To me, he (Abdullah) is a respected statesman because he does not care about himself but the interests of the country,” he said when closing the Pekan Umno Division Delegates Conference at the Dewan Konvensyen Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah here today.
Najib said Abdullah’s concept and message would be handed over to his successor when the time comes because he was aware that building a nation needed the support of everyone and could not be done within a short time.
He said a leader, who was once a prime minister for 22 years, also often lauded the importance of supporting the leader who helms the government to all Umno members.
However Najib said the leader himself did not held to the principle after he retired.
“I still remember (the message). Perhaps he has forgotten or deliberately forgot that he reminded Umno members that if we have retired, we must support the person who succeeds because when we are a leader, other people support us.
“That’s why we managed to be the leader. This is an advice that unfortunately he, himself, does not practise. I’m strong because behind me there is strong support from party members… This is not about Najib Razak alone, but because we are as Umno,” he said.
Meanwhile, Najib who is also Pekan Member of Parliament, wanted the division’s party machinery to approach Umno party members who are the ‘black sheep’ to regain their support and ensure that they vote for the party during the 14th general election.
“There is indeed a name list in our ‘war room’ of those we have categorised as the ‘black sheep’. When we check their names, they are actually Umno members. When we asked their reasons (for refusing to vote for Umno), they mentioned that there were things that we did not fulfill.
“When we did not fulfill, they come out with remarks insinuating that they reject Umno and wanted to vote for the opposition. However, we’re not sure whether they will eventually do that.
“That’s why follow up and engagement are needed. State assemblymen, district polling centres, and ‘jalinan rakyat’ (people’s network) must be taken immediately as these (the ‘black sheep’) are Umno members. I want to know whether they really want to betray the party or just to get what they want,” he said.
In the meantime, Najib also launched the Pekan Umno Division’s ‘Jihad 191’ strategy to increase the number of Umno members in the constituency to ensure that Barisan Nasional would win with a majority of 40,000 votes in the GE14.