Umno is not a one-man party, said its president Najib Razak, stressing that the party top leadership would always listen to majority voice.
Najib said forcing others to listen only to opinions of an individual was against the principles of democracy.
“We have to listen to the majority voice in the party. If the party makes a decision that was not in line with our personal interests, we have to accept it if we practised democracy,” said Najib when opening of the 2016 Sungai Petani Umno division annual general meeting (AGM) on Sunday night.
“It is important for Umno members to be dedicated to the party’s struggles if they wanted to succeed.”
He said loyalty to the party was important, citing Kedah Mentri Besar Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah as a fine example.
Najib recalled that Ahmad Bashah did not object when he was told to give way the position of Kedah Umno chairman to former Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir.
Najib said Ahmad Bashah accepted the party decision calmly and told him with a sad face that “I understand your decision”.
“That’s why in the end, he became Kedah MB,” said Najib, pointing out that he did not become the party president or prime minister just because he was the son of former Premier Abdul Razak Hussein.
“I rose from the bottom. I was the Umno Youth head. I moved up at each step and in my history, I’ve never fought against other people.
“I was loyal to his Mukhriz’s father for 22 years,” he said referring to former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
In a recent interview in Jakarta, Najib said that he had only two options – to be a prime minister who had to refer to Mahathir when making big decisions or be a prime minister whose work would be based on needs of people and party.
He said if he had chosen the second option, sooner or later, Mahathir will attack him, just as how he attacked Najib’s immediate predecessor Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
“He attacked Pak Lah because he did not listen to him. When I did not listen to him, he also attacked. How long must we live under such a situation?” he said when opening of the Tasek Gelugor Umno division AGM on Sunday afternoon.