Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today hailed the spirit of mutual respect and help that has long existed among Umno leaders and members, and said it can drive excellence in the party to continue to lead the people.
The Umno vice-president said this spirit of reciprocity was all the more important at a time when UMNO was being tested to prove its ability to maintain the confidence of the people.
“We have to remain with the leaders in good times or bad because we are the loyal followers of the party,” he said when opening the Langkawi Umno Division delegates meeting here.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also discharging the duties of the UMNO deputy president, said the party would turn 70 next year and up to now its leaders had garnered much experience in the face of various challenges that tested their mettle to continue to lead the party and the people.
“Only leaders with a high level of resilience, fighting spirit and competitiveness are able to pass these tests,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said the government led by Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak would give attention to problems faced in Langkawi that was being developed into the leading tourist destination in the country.
He said that since becoming the deputy prime minister, he had learned about the problems here and was taking steps to resolve them as promised.
“I will translate what have been promised by the deputy prime minister before me,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid said former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, who was also the education minister, had promised to build three schools in Langkawi.
He also said that as the home minister, he would instruct the Registration Department to conduct a special operation to identify the estimated 600 local people who had yet to have identification cards.
The deputy prime minister said the application to build a fire and rescue station in Padang Matsirat would be expedited.
“I give the commitment that Langkawi will remain a priority, particularly in the aspect of tourism and other development,” he said.