PEKAN, Aug 8 (Bernama) -- Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak wants party leaders and members to listen to the people, serve them well and help them solve problems in the efforts to restore the party's strength.
The party president said this was important to ensure that Umno was able to defend its position as the backbone of the ruling coalition and supported by the people.
"Firstly, we should adopt the culture of listening... we should always listen to the voice of the people.
"We should always be close to them and not distance ourselves, to be humble in our approach and not to be egoistic, and to refrain from being elitists," he said when opening the Pekan Umno delegates' meeting here Saturday.
Najib, who is Pekan Umno chief, also stressed the importance of giving the best service to the people at all times.
"Serve the people, not the cliques. We should serve at all times and not just when there is an election hoping to be chosen as candidates," he said.
"The people will judge us, so we should take care of their interests. The important thing is our party, not ourselves," he said.
Najib said Umno leaders should also be an able problem-solver.
"Having the ability to listen to the people is not enough; we should also be able to solve their problems. We should resolve each and every problem brought to our attention or else the problem would get out of hand," he said.
Meanwhile, Najib said, he was touched by the fact that he was opening the meeting for first time as the Umno president and prime minister.
He told the delegates in jest that many people were now interested "in getting close to Pekan people".
"If previously they are submitting project proposals through 'Kepala Batas people' they are now doing so through the people of Pekan. But you must understand that if the projects are important to the people and within the government's means, I would be able to approve it.
"If it is for personal benefit, you shall see...," he said.
The prime minister said that as Pekan member of parliament, he would continue to fight for the interest of the people there.
"I shall shoulder the trust given to me and will continue to work to spur Malaysia to greater heights," he said.
Also present were his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and Pekan Umno deputy chief Datuk Ishak Muhamad.