KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 — The 14th General Election will be “monumental” and ultimately decide the “fate of this nation”, Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak said today.
Addressing the party’s annual general assembly here, the last before the national polls, Najib warned of alleged threats to the future of the Malays, Islam and the Malay Rulers if Umno were to be defeated.
“Let it be known that we are at a decisive and monumental moment because we have in our hands a choice that will decide the fate of this nation,” the Barisan Nasional chairman said emphatically in his policy speech.
“It is apparent that this is no game as the battle strategies will be dead serious and take no hostages.
“Firstly, are we willing to allow Islam to be belittled and insulted on this soil? Secondly, do we want to see the institution of Malay Rulers desecrated or even betrayed?” Najib asked.
Najib, who is also prime minister, further said “institutions that Malays can be proud of like Mara, Federal Land Development Agency (Felda) and Tabung Haji could be sidelined” should his party lose.
The Umno president is seeking a stronger mandate in the 14th general election to reaffirm his stewardship of the country, and is targeting for BN to win back the parliamentary supermajority it lost in 2008.
Najib must call for a general election no later than June, after which Parliament will be dissolved automatically, but speculation is rife that he may do so earlier.
His deputy, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, last month hinted to the Chinese community to expect a “momentous day” just after the Lunar New Year celebration in early February.
The Umno leadership has made it clear that this year’s AGM will focus solely on their election preparations, meaning party unity will be key.
Rallying the party today, Najib told the over 30,000 Umno members gathered at the Putra World Trade Centre here that the party must do its best to protect Umno and Malay rule.
An Opposition victory could see the country’s largest ethnic group “bastardised”, Najib said, citing as example the potential loss of jobs for the predominantly-Malay civil service or the “compromise” of Malay education through the denigration of UiTM, the Bumiputra-only university founded by Mara.
“And of course… with their deep-seeded hate against Malay Bumiputra privilege, the pure souls of this soil, from an independent race… their dignity shall be trampled upon and its roots sold,” Najib charged.
“But not only that… they will have to beg, (and be) ridiculed that they shall be bastardised in their own land,” he added.
In Election 2013, Najib led Umno to its best-ever showing, but this was not enough to make up for defeats elsewhere that cost the BN coalition the popular vote.
The ruling coalition also did not win a two-third majority in the 222-seat Parliament.