KUALA LUMPUR: UMNO wants to see the Malay and Bumiputera agenda to continue to be empowered in the next two decades including strengthening Bumiputera trust agencies, its president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said.
Bumiputera equity holding institutions, including Permodalan Nasional Berhad (PNB), Lembaga Tabung Haji (TH), Federal Land Development Authority (Felda), Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA), must become the government’s main agenda without bowing to pressure for those agendas to be sidelined.
“As highlighted in the main debate between two political leaders (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim) four days ago, companies in which PNB has stakes in, such as Sapura Energy, involving over 10 million Amanah Saham Nasional (ASN) unitholders, need to be assisted.
“A total of over RM5 billion has been invested by PNB. The company employs a workforce of over 10,000 and over 3,000 vendors are involved. Without using direct government funds, PETRONAS is suited to take over and conduct a turn-around immediately,” he said during his speech at the UMNO special general assembly at the World Trade Centre Kuala Lumpur (WTCKL) today.
Ahmad Zahid said UMNO agreed that a forensic audit be conducted on Sapura Energy for the sake of transparency.
Recounting UMNO’s political struggle since its establishment in 1946 till now, Ahmad Zahid said it proved the party had gone through phases of change, in accordance with the political dynamic at the time.
Ahmad Zahid said UMNO’s political nature was very flexible, constantly evolving and in line with current political needs.
“In fact, our readiness to change makes UMNO politically relevant throughout the ages. UMNO has gone through rising times, been at its peak, and had its falls. We have gone through it all with various changes and approaches.
“As the party enters its 76th year, its long struggle and political journey has made us mature. Although faced with various challenges, UMNO has never forgotten its core struggle.
“In the next 24 years, Insya Allah UMNO will be a century old, 100 years in existence. We should prepare UMNO to face political challenges, preserve its legacy to enable the future generation to take up its struggle,” he said.
Ahmad Zahid also said the party’s approach in giving room to new faces in the two previous state elections in Melaka and Johor was proof that UMNO did not lack leadership.
Such an approach, he said, showcases UMNO’s readiness to ensure that the party’s struggle will continue shining bright as it heads towards its centennial.
“This is UMNO’s political dynamic. We are always ready to pivot so that we can adapt to current demands. Now, the total voters under 40 is over 12 million or 58 per cent of the overall 21 million voters.
“Is UMNO not aware of this? Do we, who have dominated and been the people’s representative for five, six, seven or eight terms still feel that this is our age?” he pointed out, as he conveyed his greetings for the National Youth Day, which is celebrated today. – Bernama