Petaling Jaya (The Star/ANN) - After 67 years, Umno remains a strong and successful party but needs to reflect on its weaknesses if it wants continued support from the people.
Umno president Najib Razak said the party, which has been given a mandate for the next five years, must be humble and respect the wishes of the rakyat.
"We gather here in this august hall as a party that is strong. The election results which saw the number of seats Umno won increase from 79 to 88 is testimony to this.
"Let us correct our weaknesses, thank those who are with us and find ways to win over those who have yet to support us in the 14th general election," Najib said in his address at Umno's 67th anniversary celebration last night.
Najib said Umno, which has been in power continuously for more than six decades, could be considered the world's most successful political party.
He reiterated that Umno is not a racist party but inclusive and moderate.
Towards a bright future: Najib cutting the 'pulut kuning' in conjunction with Umno's 67th anniversary celebration in Kuala Lumpur as other Umno leaders look on.
"We ensure justice for all and regard everyone as our partner. We will defend policies which are fair, equitable and moderate," he stressed.
Najib pledged that Umno and Barisan Nasional would not allow Pakatan Rakyat's "opportunistic politics" to destroy everything that it had worked for.
"Even though we faced a strong challenge in the end, Malaysians decided that they want continuity and stability," said Najib, who is also Barisan chairman.
Meanwhile, Umno deputy president Muhyiddin Yassin in his message said the party must undergo a more comprehensive and radical transformation process.
"This is to allow Umno to become a Malay, Islamic and Malaysian political party which is more dynamic, inclusive and visionary so that the party can become universal in terms of its struggle without forgetting its original objectives," he said.
Muhyiddin added Barisan component parties must also undertake bigger reforms so that they could be accepted by all races.
He called on Umno to increase efforts to reach out to the Malay middle class in the urban areas, adding that the younger generation was also another important group that the party must do more to woo.
Also present at the gathering in PWTC were former president Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek and his deputy Liow Tiong Lai, MIC president G. Palanivel and Gerakan president Dr Koh Tsu Koon.
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