Dear Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri delegates;
Let’s start off the conference by expressing our gratitude to Allah The Almighty, the Most Merciful and Most Compassionate. In joy and sadness, and in victory or defeat, it’s for Him to decide for everything is written in the lines of our hands.
We converge here today to explore new doors to elevate our race and nation. We have been doing this without fail and displeasure each and every year, in our quest to extract the best formula for our struggle, and in seeking Allah blessing.
Thank you to Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri for inviting me to officiate this meeting. I do hope that our convergence tonight will bring about fruitful deliberations.
Please make full use of the opportunity to discuss and find new solutions in strengthening UMNO as the predicaments of the Malays and the party, be it in whatever forms, are for us to resolve it.
Indeed, the country has prospered well under UMNO. In its victory or defeat, in its ups and downs, nobody can deny the party’s contribution in the country’s progress.
UMNO has changed the Malays’ fortune. This has been achieved by the true struggle, sacrifice and commitment of our forefathers who had dedicated their efforts and lives without any returns for the country’s sake.
After 62 years of Indepedence, I am confident that our heroes can rest in peace to see how the Malays have transformed into what it is today, the 21st Century. From an illiterate society, it now has in possession among the world’s best education systems.
From a race which was once sit as the backtracker in Asia, Malaysia has emerged to become a fully-developed, being the world’s 26th most competitive economy.
Once being among the poorest countries, Malaysia can be proud of having the largest middle-class citizens among developing nations in this century. In fact, Malaysia registers the most rapid growth of its middle-class group in Asia.
Once a nation wrestled with political and economic uncertainties, we now emerged as the most stabilised democracies in the world.
In short, Malaysia has seen tremendous progress over the six decades after Independence, with an integrated society, better growth and democratically-managed. I mention all these not to note my satisfaction or being proud of it, let alone having the nostalgic rekindling on it.
But I just want to remind you that it is UMNO that have paved the way to all these. This is the ethos I wish to tell all delegates.
If UMNO has brought about prosperity and other successful innings to this country over such a period, why couldn’t it find remedies to its woes and re-hatch itself from all the wounds of defeat and sorrow?
Eighteen months after losing its power, I would like to invite all delegates to take a very radical step in putting back UMNO on the right track – which is to play a leading role in Malaysian politics.
UMNO cannot afford to get any sluggish. UMNO must lead Malaysia again. This is our responsibility.
If the sail is torn, decays to its wall or holing on the floor, we must repair it. With all the might and strong mindset, together with the right attitude and intention, it must be carried out without blasé.
We are no more the government after the last general election. But we won’t surrender our ship to be confiscated by others and let it unattended. We are yet to fall, my dear friends. The actual defeat comes when we are frustrated and refuse to rise again.
Hence, work harder for UMNO and Malaysia. Bear in mind that hard work and sincere struggle are the ingredients that will uplift the dignity of a race higher. May all the hard work will navigate the ship called Malaysia, and together we will mend the patches.
Dear delegates, I have five elements at hands for your deliberation.
Firstly, I would like to narrate on the actual challenge for UMNO. After more than 18 months as an Opposition, is not our real challenge. Defeating Pakatan Harapan is not easy but it can be done with the right strategy and approach. In fact, we are already defeating them in slow rhythm.
The real challenge for UMNO is to face the nature of politics itself, particularly with regards to this globalisation era. The world political phenomenon today cannot be predicted. Malaysia and the world are not like before.
Politics of the 21st Century is complicated and full of varieties. It is dictated by complexity which have different bearings on the people. We may never know what kind of politics to embrace in the coming months or years.
For that very reason, UMNO must be equipped to carry out the needs of the 21st Century. We cannot fall bequeath under the uncertainties of the future.
Why am I saying this?
It’s because we are living in the age of disruption. The mind, work culture and the way of living are much advanced that it leaves us with no absolute options. Globalisation and awful doings by international actors somehow have contributed to our daily routine of life.
In that manner, our politics will get more dynamic, formidable and disruptive. Look around the world today when all sorts of doctrine and model are under threat, put to test and chucked off as not relevant, old-fashioned and obsolete.
What was right and prudent then are now rejected and left to rot.
Let me ask you the delegates, where is UMNO in this fiasco?
As a politicl party, UMNO has no option but to embark on serious and radical re-structuring or a serious radical alignment. This realignment must take into account all political movement but able to address our legitimate concern or the people’s concern. It must be done in tandem with changes in daily life, work culture and human’s mental evolution in this age of disruption.
The question is, how will UMNO do all this? I believe there are three main essence for us to carry out together.
One: UMNO must possess agility or the reflex action to learn. We must be fast enough to learn new things, comprehend and practise it. This means, UMNO must prepare itself to become a learning political entity and an idea-based party, or a political entity which learn from changes and full of positive ideas.
The illiterates of the 21st Century are not those who refuse to write and read but those who are reluctant to learn and to pursue education.
In this aspect, we must emerge as a party willing to learn, explore, embrace innovation, creative and challenge the usual practise. Love for knowledge and new findings. Even the Prophet SAW, as an Ulil Amri and the Supreme Caliph did pursue education and had a quest for knowledge. So, what is our excuse?
If we refuse to study and acquire new knowledge, and reject good thoughts, believe me… believe me that sooner or later UMNO will become a political institution of the past, forgotten and abandoned by the Malays itself.
Secondly, in embracing the politics in the age of disruption, UMNO members must have resilience. We cannot give up. We cannot bow out to pressure, internal or from the outside. Come what may, we must move on.
UMNO must develop a culture of resilience in each and every member, especially when we are no longer in power. The only way to rebuild our composure from the defeat is by developing a strong inner spiritual and will to continue fighting for the Malays and the nation.
Take the cue from the Palestinians. What have they not gone through in struggling for their race and country?
To retreat and surrender is the impossible. All these predicaments have made them into a race with extraordinary willpower and self-resilience. Perhaps they are the most willpower in the world.
Similarly, UMNO and its members must acquire such willpower. If we are brave enough to weather all such challenges, then we would be remembered and appreciated.
Thirdly is the need to acquire Science and Technology.
Some of you may mock at my idea of the importance of UMNO to embrace science and technological knowhow. For most of us, politics is more towards attending to the masses and their needs.
However, this is where the future of UMNO lies, at how it can make use of science and technology. Do remember that the resolution to poverty, jobless and our daily cost of living are attributable to knowledge in science and technology.
Today, we can only find quick solution by referring to fast findings, data, mathematical model, psychological science and other scientific studies.
UMNO must fully utilised such data, the boom of social media and analytical sience as a ‘new normal’ in its every activity. We don’t have to depend on ‘coffee shop’ lecture or based on intuition, presumption and prophecy.
The second thing I want to share is the importance of giving a new thrust to the party ideology. This will enable UMNO to rejuvenate, giving new perspective and narrative, more contemporary outlook and more resilience.
Why do I say ideology? Because in our struggle, ideology will inspire us.
What is a struggle without ideology? Without political mind? Without realising how true and important our struggle is. It is akin to a body without soul, dry and empty.
When ideology is unaccounted for in UMNO’s bigger agenda, politics of warlords will dominate the party. A politics of gain and losses, a politics of personality, of aristocrats and indebtedness.
Let me remind you, please turn back to where we used to be, as believers to the struggle. Re-embrace the loosened ideology, expedite all efforts for the dignity of the Malays.
For as long as UMNO is alive, it will continue with the struggle to uphold Islam, culture, language and the Malay tradition without having any prejudice with other races and religions.
The only thing that links us with our forefathers is ideology, which will make us stay connected with the warriors of the future.
However, will our ideology stay relevant in this age of disruption? Will it remain in tandem with the uncertainty of the politics of the future? My immediate answer is, YES. UMNO’s ideology is relevan yesterday, today and tomorrow!
Many quarters tried to emulate academician Francis Fukuyama on politics of identity to reject UMNO’s ideology. Let me stress out that no matter where and in what from a community is, they will stick to their outlook and identity through their own mirror.
Curiousity kills the cat, so it’s a common norm for any race and ethnic to made-known or glorify their respective sect. Having social identities is so usual, to preserving it will instil the sense of belonging to them, notably in this age of disruption.
It goes well with the Malays and other races in Malaysia. The strength, progress and achievement of any race will be achieved when they move in their own circle of identity. This means, the utmost importance essence of any race will be to strengthen and solidify their own bonding.
It will be odd to wash away the political identity from the present ambience and to replace it with the needs of policy and economic matters. They might have forgotten that in the progress and modernisation of Malaysia and its economic prosperity, political identity cannot be a do away.
Hence, any attempt to reject UMNO’s ideology will be futile. It will, in fact, gets more relevant in confronting the challenges of globalisation.
Ideology and political identity serve as resilience mechanism, which I described as ‘political and cultural resilience’ in order for us to face economy of the imperialist, social, culture and mentality that push us to the wall.
However, our ideology needs a new context as Malaysia has long left the era of post-Independence. The modernisation of Malaysia needs revision and must be given new ideas, which are development and competitiveness.
Hence, our ideology must enable the Malays to move forward and compete with others. It will be not sufficient if we are to only uphold our interest and rights. For that very reason, I have mentioned about the Malay Progress Agenda as the new political mind of UMNO.
The Malays must achieve progress in its economy, a progressive politics, advanced mindset, a youth generation who move forward in social and education, a progressive culture but still hold on to the Malay supremacy.
A progressive Malay possess a strong esteem, knowledgeable, courteous and excellent personality. They are more open, confident and ready to compete. Progress also means they are no longer dependence on aid and assistance. Instead, they are the aid providers.
A progressive Malay will explore the world and not confine to its surrounding. They are able to lead and have capability in all disciplines. Thus, we must prepare UMNO will all these.
UMNO must become a source of inspiration for the Malays and strive harder to emerge as the best race, for instance becoming ‘Ummatan Wasatan’ which are moderate and cultured.
We can do it. As how our ancestors succeeded in building a Malay civilisation in the Nusantara, which was rich with knowledge, innovation, economic achievement and creating an Islamic way of living for all.
For that, we have no excuse to reject the Malay Progress Agenda.
The third narrative I want to raise up tonight is the importance to see UMNO making wave among the Malays and Malaysians again. UMNO must be seen as inclusive and open to the masses.
The party must embark on an agenda to convince the Malays and the non-Malays, that it is the best bet for a better Malaysian.
We cannot move on without proper agenda, without any plans and any explanation to what we will be doing when we are given the trust to rule again. In fact, we cannot just bank our hope or seek solace on the failures of Pakatan Harapan alone.
Do remember that the future of UMNO does not lie in the hands of its three million members alone. I am not denying that this is paramount. However, the future of UMNO lies within the Malays and the non-Malays together, who are not our members.
UMNO constituents have changed, and it will continue changing.
Hence, in demonstrating how serious UMNO is in emerging as an inclusive movement, I would like to urge Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri to formulate a concrete agenda as UMNO’s new deal to the Malays and Malaysians.
Basically, I would like to see the three wings to embrace UMNO New Offer for Malaysians – Our New Deal. It must consist of four important elements:
The first element: UMNO to secure the Malays political and power rights;
Second: UMNO assurance to enhance economic achievement of the Malays;
Thirdly: UMNO assurance to uphold the status of Islam, Royal Institution, Bahasa Kebangsaan and Malay culture; and
Fourth: UMNO assurance in upholding the diversity of Malaysia, respecting the rights of others and lead Malaysia to a better future.
Let’s get to the drawing board by taking into account the views and suggestions by all sectors of the community. UMNO must not stick to its old ways where we did it all alone and endorsed it on the Malays as a ruling. The era has long gone, dear brothers and sisters!
We must explore the mind and ability of all, and not a few. We gather the NGOs, NGIs, academicians, thinkers, professors and other experts to help us chart the new deal.
The fourth most important aspect which I want to bring up tonight is how important it is to dignify our struggle in the lead. My greatest concern is to who the leadership should be pass on to. This will signify and justify the relevancy of UMNO.
Among our effort in a Malay political movement is to prepare the next layer of leadership, those who really can lead Malaysians and not our race and party alone. They must be able to find remedy and explore new potentials for the nation.
Only a pragmatic mind and a self-resilience Malay leadership can take all these. This pragmatism is the forward thinking that can look beyond the future needs and dreams of the country, and to gain the trust of all.
They must possess a level-headed mind, inspirational and showing good examples for changes, hard working in making the Malays as one of the most respectable races in the world.
However, having a forward-looking mind alone is not sufficient if it is not accompanied by good personal character. The most valuable asset of a Malay leader is moral. No excellent mind, good orator and extraordinary charism can match a good moral.
A successful race and nation must have this value of morality. If we choose leaders with good moral value, then we are doing the right thing. A leader who observes good moral value will lead the party with justice and great footings. He will be seen as a role model to all.
For Malaysia to emerge as a developed nation, it must pick this kind of leader, respected and honoured by others.
However, the moral crisis in our leadership has taken adverse impacts lately. The nation cannot be led by such characters. Malaysia needs a Malay leader who is pious, down to earth and holds good values.
To all my comrades in Wanita, Pemuda and Puteri, do prepare yourself as the next party leaders by adopting to the good values mentioned. Explore the best talent among us, those who subscribe to values acceptable by all.
Nurture and train them as leaders. We need to ensure that the party is always ready with the next layer of leaders. Send them out to the whole world to gain experience. Assign them for leadership exploration in preparing them to have the right quality to lead.
I have to admit that we have been taking it for granted all this whiles. High time for us to take it up seriously. We will lose out in competition should we fail in embracing challenges of the future.
The fifth and last element and the most paramount is the quest to unseat Pakatan Harapan.
We must be the pioneers, the massive movement of Malaysians to reject Pakatan Harapan. Turn it into a mass movement, the voice of cheated, dodged and manipulated Malaysian citizens.
After just 18 months in power, Pakatan Harapan has failed the country and its people. They failed in delivering their promises and failed in implementing the changes promised to the people.
They are failures! They not only put the nation in fragility but has doomed the status of the Malays and Islam. Their utmost priority is not to administer the country but who should become the next prime minister!
This has led to many political tug-of-wars and power struggles, which are disgraceful. Even some of us have fall into their filthy game and become a trojan horse for some individuals who only have vested-interest and power greedy.
Obviously, we cannot let the future of Malaysia to collapse under such circumstances.
This is the main message for us to comprehend, with reference to the result of Tanjung Piai by-election. It demonstrated how blasé the people are for the existing government. They cannot hold their horses anymore.
Tanjung Piai was a referendum to the failure of Pakatan Harapan government. It also reflects how the well being of Malaysians deteriorated badly under Pakatan Harapan’s incompetency to manage the nation.
They failed and took a blunder in each and every aspect of administration.
What a shame that they have to resort to asking for time to ‘repair’ the country, as if Malaysia has been made a guinea pig for many of their experiments, at their whim and fancy.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Malaysia is not for scientific experiment. No time to waste. Every wasted second will be at the expense of Malaysians. Believe me that the 18-month failure is only the start to many more blunders.
The issue is, how are we going to oust them? Let me suggest a few methods.
First, each and every of us must become an agent of check and balance. I meant all of us, not UMNO alone. This is a digitalised era. Each UMNO member can function ethically in detecting PH weakness and failures, expose it to Malaysians via various social media channels.
Secondly, we must fortify Muafakat Nasional by promoting and glorify it. We must bring Muafakat Nasional close to the people’s heart, and must draw a roadmap for the comprehension of all. We must ‘Malaysianise’ it.
It’s our responsibility, not confine to the President and his team alone. Remember that we have won four by-elections through the close cooperation between UMNO, components of BN and PAS especially. This demonstrates that Muafakat Nasional is the new political formula for the rakyat.
So, carry Muafakat Nasional with you. Have faith in it and make it into reality for Malaysians. God Willing, the central administration will return to us.
Last but not least, let me stress out the we have built Malaysia into what it is today. We must get back the role as captain of the ship. With so many constraints and the unexpected world, UMNO must be ready to pursue its objectives.
This is not an easy struggle. I would like to remind you of Hamka’s words, ‘don’t be afraid of falling, those who never climbed up will never feel the fall… Those who are afraid of failure are those who never failed, and those who never made a move forward. Don’t afraid to err because the first mistake will make us to learn and be better in the second step’.
Pave the way for UMNO, whatever it may take because it was UMNO who has spearheaded the Malay survival all this whiles. UMNO has built a sound yesteryear for the Malays and the nation. Now it is our turn to paint Malaysia with a better tomorrow, In Sha Allah.
Let us all strive to meet the objectives and make this assembly as a turning point to a progressive future. For UMNO, for the Malays and for Malaysia.