TANGKAK, Sept 5 — Umno members should not remain quiet when principles concerning the party’s struggles such as on the royal institution, special privileges of the Malays and the Islamic religion are being questioned by certain groups, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.  On the contrary, he said, Umno members must rise up to defend such matters and not allow these groups to play up such issues for political gains.  “Umno members should not remain quiet when matters that are basic to the party’s struggles are being questioned. We must rise up and defend them,” he said when opening the Ledang Umno divisional delegates meeting, here today.

Muhyiddin, who is also the Umno deputy president, said efforts to defend the monarchy, special privileges of the Malays and the sanctity of Islam from attacks by certain groups, however, must be based on the country’s law and constitution. The Umno deputy president also denied that the moves to defend the principles of Umno’s struggles were based on political interest. “Don’t be afraid to come forward,” he said when addressing about 1,000 delegates from the three party wings of the Ledang Umno division.

Also present at the event today were Ledang Umno division head Datuk Ir Hamim Samuri, who is also the Deputy Minister of International Trade and Industry, and Datuk Razali Ibrahim, who is a Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department as well as Umno Youth vice-head. Muhyiddin said that it was most important to defend issues that were basic to the Umno struggles in ensuring that the party remained relevant to the Malays in future, and if possible, for ever. He also said that efforts to empower the Malays economically would be intensified to ensure that the target of 30 per cent Bumiputera equity in the national wealth was achieved. He said efforts to empower the Malay economy should not only be confined to the corporate sector but also expanded to cover the small and medium industry as well as the small businesses. — Bernama

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