Umno members must place loyalty to the party above everything else for its survival, said party president Najib Tun Razak.
He said how great Umno leaders and members were, without loyalty, they would only be thinking of their own personal interests and not championing the party’s agenda.
“We can look for intelligent, highly qualified people but if they don’t have loyalty, what’s the use of their string of qualifications.
“When we don’t value loyalty while our personal ambitions and goals fail to materialise, we will no longer uphold loyalty,” Najib said in his speech when opening the Sungai Petani division Umno delegates meeting at Dataran Zero, here, today.
Also present were Kedah Menteri Besar Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, Education Minister Mahdzir Khalid and Sungai Petani Umno division chief Abdul Rahim Saad.
The prime minister said Umno had all this while stood strong not because of individuals, but the fighting spirit of its members in championing the religion, race and nation.
“This party is not a one-man show, that only the opinions of one person are accepted. That’s not democracy…need to hear the views of the majority in the party. If the party has made a decision that is not in line with our want, we should accept it,” he said.
Citing Ahmad Bashah as a loyal party member, Najib said the latter was willing to make way for Mukhriz Mahathir to become Kedah menteri besar even though at the time, he was the state Umno Liaison Committee chairman.
“He did not sulk although he had to go down as deputy chairman. No problem, he worked, did not oppose his boss, did not go around condemning the party president, what more set up a new party…he accepted (the decision) with calmness,” he said.
Najib also said that said Kedah Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) remained strong with the solid support of the people although faced with the various challenges.
“With the developments of late in Kedah and at the national level, Kedah appears not affected by it and in fact, the spirit in Kedah Umno is getting stronger and they are increasingly committed to ensuring that the country’s rice bowl remains in the hands of Umno and BN.”
However, he said, Umno members needed to be more dedicated and alert in facing the next general election, particularly in registering new voters.