The results of the UMNO General Assembly last week were inspiring to many UMNO members to say the least. Many of us left the UMNO General Assembly feeling upbeat and very positive. The transition of the Presidency from YAB Dato’ Seri Abdullah to YAB Dato’ Seri Najib was very smooth to say the least. Tun Mahathir’s presence on the final day of the convention and his presence on stage later along with Pak Lah’s and Najib’s gestures were great. Finally, the results of the UMNO elections were inspiring and gave hope to many, not only in UMNO but those outside.
The delegates’ choice for Tan Sri Muhyiddin as the Deputy President, Zahid, Hishammuddin and Shafie Apdal as Vice-Presidents was excellent. These individuals are generally well accepted by Malaysians of all walks, be they Malay, Chinese, Indians and so on. These ‘Generals’ also have their own strengths and expertise that would well complement Najib and Muhyiddin.
Hishammuddin for example, enjoys good relations with the component parties and the non-malays in general. He also connects well with the younger generation and must play these roles accordingly. He is also seen as someone who will definitely take everyone’s interest in his heart when he makes any decisions.
I am also happy to hear Muhyiddin repeating many times that he will be an able, loyal and good deputy to the president - a very important ingredient as the number two.
The list of new appointed Supreme Council members was also good. Granted there were surprises. However, it is a good mix of the old and the new, of those with a government portfolio and not. Voting Dato’ Mustapa Mohamed (Tok Pa) to the number one spot for example, showed that the delegates voted with their heads and not only their hearts.
We all know Tok Pa’s reputation – Mr Clean – no corruption, no hanky panky, always dependable and very hardworking. He is also well respected in the financial and business circles. He enjoys the confidence of many including academicians and government servants, yet also remaining humble and well liked by the people on the ground. More than 85% of the delegates voted for him.
Overall, the delegates showed maturity in the voting process. All the talk about money politics and how it would influence their choice proved to be unfounded. Many of us knew how important it was for us to make the right choices. It was after all termed as being the life or death situation for the party. At the end of the day, I am happy and proud that the delegates knew what they needed to do. I am not saying those who were not elected are no good but these individuals are the rights ones needed now to help Najib and Muhyiddin to carry UMNO and BN forward.
And now, we await for Pak Lah to hand over the Prime Minister’s post to Najib. And more importantly, the new cabinet line-up that will steer the country through these rough times and position it to move forward when the next development wave comes.