A united Umno ready for the 14th General Election (GE) will be the vibe at the party’s 71st anniversary today to be marked by a mammoth gathering of party faithful at the National Stadium in Bukit Jalil.
The event is seen by observers as the party’s largest and possibly the last gathering before the much anticipated general election is held.
About 140,000 party members from all corners of the country are expected to throng the stadium to join Prime Minister and Umno president Najib Razak in commemorating the party’s founding which for over seven decades had championed and defended the Malay race.
The celebration is scheduled to begin at 6.45pm with a religious talk which will be followed by maghrib prayer in congregation.
A sports, essay and short video contest prize presentation ceremony has been slotted soon after the arrival of Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at 8.20pm.
Ahmad Zahid, who is Umno vice president, is conducting the duties of Umno deputy president.
At 9pm, Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin will carry the Sang Saka Bangsa (Umno flag) into the stadium, thus ending the Umno flag run which began simultaneously in Perlis, Kelantan, Johor and Sabah simultaneously on May 1.
Full attention will be on Najib when he stands at the rostrum to deliver his speech that is expected to be filled with messages promoting unity and continuity in the party’s struggle.
The speech is expected to fire up party members in facing the upcoming 14th general election at a time when Umno is being faced with various challenges and relentless assaults from the opposition.
The event will also see the launch of the construction of the 70-storey KL Putra tower and the presentation of the Distinguished Malay Figure (Tokoh Melayu Terbilang) award to three recipients.
In appreciation of party members’ presence, lucky draws offering prizes worth about RM1 million, including six cars and 10 motorcycles will also be held. – Bernama