PEKAN, Aug 27 – Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak said Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) still had time to fine-tune and perfect their machinery before the 14th general election. The Prime Minister who is also Umno president said from the feedback he gathered through the Umno Delegates Conferences nationwide, the party machinery’s level of preparedness was good but added that there was still room to improve and ensure that BN would win big and maintain the mandate.

“Our situation from the aspect of preparedness is at a good level in the sense that if I as prime minister want to blow the whistle and play the drum roll, we are ready. But we are perfectionists. We will not be fully satisfied until everything is perfect,” he said. Najib who is also Pekan member of parliament said this when opening the Pekan Umno Delegates Conference at Dewan Konvensyen Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah here today.

It is the party’s final conference after 191 others nationwide, for this year. Also present were Pahang Umno Liaison chief and Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, and Pekan Umno divisional chief Datuk Seri Abu Bakar Harun. Najib also noted that the conferences had been smooth without any unfavourable incident.

“I can confirm from Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who had attended the conferences that Umno members from Perlis to Sabah are in high spirits and reflected the party as being better organised and disciplined compared to the opposition. I also have not received any reports of flying chairs or lighting flares and so on. In short, we did not have any bad discipline throughout the conferences,” he said.

Meanwhile, he urged the more than 13 million Umno members throughout the country to internalise the party’s struggle and remain united and loyal to their leaders for the party to retain its strength as the ruling government. Using the current 29th SEA Games as an analogy, Najib said Umno members should emulate the fighting spirit of the Malaysian athletes to realise their target of 111 gold medals and be the overall champion.

Najib also shared his reflection on the football match between Malaysia against Myanmar on Aug 21 that he watched on television, in which the national team under Datuk Ong Kim Swee scored a 3-1 win. “… two of the goals for Malaysia were scored by MIC, from the balls passed by Umno. For me in this case, it is BN that won regardless of who slotted the ball in.

“Meaning, when there is unanimity, victory is in the bag. Another thing … we should have won 3-0 but at the last minute, the defender made a mistake, which was inadvertent. What more in politics … if we make mistakes, sabotage or backstab … these will allow the opposition to overtake us. I am mentioning this as a reminder even though we are confident and optimistic in our position,” he said.

In this regard, Najib said, all party members in Pekan must apply the fighting spirit of the national athletes in themselves to retain the parliamentary constituency’s record of highest vote majority of 35, 613 which he obtained in GE-13. He said the “1999 tragedy” in which he nearly lost after getting a majority of only 241 votes should be a lesson, and was an experience he found the hardest to forget.

“That nightmare of 1999 was because of the ‘black eye’ incident – other people were responsible for it but we were regarded as the culprits,” he said. Meanwhile, Najib also presented 458 heads of sacrificial cattle for distribution to 259 surau, mosques and government agencies. — Bernama

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