By SIMON KHOO
KUANTAN: Umno must take heed of public sentiments and initiate drastic measures to regain the people’s support and trust, said party deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said it was time for the party to wake up, acknowledge its weaknesses and initiate remedial measures to regain its glory and pride.
“Why is it Umno in its formation days was so strong despite not having as many (members) as (the) three million members (of) today?
“One reason is our forefathers did not fight for themselves or Umno but for the Malays, and Umno will continue to stand up for the rights of the Malays, the institution of monarchs, as well as for other races,” he said after opening the party meetings for the Kuantan, Indera Mahkota and Paya Besar divisions here yesterday.
Muhyiddin, who is also Deputy Prime Minister, said public perception was important and Umno must not assume all Malaysians accepted the party.
He said grassroots leaders should revert to earlier day practices of sitting in coffeeshops to chat over a cup of tea.
“We do not need to meet in cosy hotels decorated with bunga manggar. (Only) a notebook to jot down details of the people’s grouses will suffice.”
On a separate matter, Muhyiddin said Umno would be more aggressive and proactive in addressing issues involving unity and relationship with other races.
“Of late, the opposition parties are creating all sorts of race-based issues and Umno will not compromise in this matter,” he said.
On a lighter note, Muhyiddin said he had set a record of sorts by opening three Umno division meetings in a day.
He is expected to open the meetings for the Bera and Temerloh divisions later. - The Star.