“BETWEEN TWO FUTURES”
1. The poet Hamzah Fansuri wrote, as a reminder to young people:
“Wahai muda kenali diri mu
Ia lah perahu tamsil tubuh mu
Tiada lah berapa lama hidup mu
Ke akhirat jua kekal diam mu
Hai muda arif budiman
Hasilkan kemudi dengan pedoman
Alat perahu mu jua kerjakan
Itu lah jalan membetuli insan”
Let us express the highest gratitude to Allah SWT; He who has given us the strength to keep serving UMNO’s cause, the party that has just celebrated its 66th birthday. The anniversary bears witness to UMNO Youth’s proud and central role to the party, spanning 191 divisions, across 13 states, flying the Sang Saka Bangsa flag throughout the country. Sang Saka Bangsa – a most sanctified name that was proposed by our very movement.
2. As the most important wing in the party, our organisation is the vessel and pioneer of vision, not only for Malays but for all Malaysians, beginning from the colonial era to modern times today. Never merely a silent bystander or a blind follower, but as the vanguard of change, charting the path to excellence. The history of our Independence is testimony to the fact that it was our movement that introduced the motion in 1955 to expedite Independence so that it be brought forward to the sacred date of 31 August 1957. In fact, UMNO Youth also pioneered country-wide nationalism and the true and inclusive message of independence – proposing the independence slogan be changed from “Hidup Melayu” to “Merdeka” in 1951. As it was in times past, today and for all time, the objective and methods of UMNO Youth’s struggle has never wavered nor strayed from ensuring UMNO remains relevant.
3. On this long continuum of history, UMNO Youth is always ahead of the changing times. In the early years of UMNO Youth, we took on the responsibility as a pressure group – consistent with the demands of the immediate pre and post-colonial era – which eventually contributed to Independence, and ultimately the formation of Malaysia. In line with the shifting times and the context of the New Political Model, today UMNO Youth has been rejuvenated, given a rebranding and reconstitution as a movement that more robustly and proactively tackles issues facing the younger generation. We believe that to champion the voice and aspirations of this generation, UMNO Youth must be able to offer solutions to them – and not merely and be a vendor of rhetoric.
4. The shift in worldview I impressed upon last year is a manifestation of the maturity of the movement’s struggle. We must retain the balance between tradition and modernity, physical growth and spiritual advancement, between the wisdom of history and the potential of reform, not simply to keep up with the times, but also to abide by a religion that demands honour and leadership. As such, this dynamic political agenda necessitates that we continually renew ourselves to ensure UMNO’s role remains at the forefront of politics.
5. Armed with a fighting spirit that knows no bounds, we not only highlight to young people the important role UMNO plays. But as their champion, we are also the main catalyst for UMNO to reflect the wishes of this younger generation that places importance on human rights, transparency in governance and freedom of speech. Alongside this new approach and image, UMNO Youth continues to preserve the traditions and legacy of the sacred party that is UMNO. UMNO is rich in heritage – there is no other organisation in this country that can match UMNO in terms of its history and contribution to this land. This tradition remains protected under the helm and leadership of UMNO Youth. As the Malay proverb goes, “gayung bersambut kata berjawab, yang lama kita kelek, yang baharu kita junjung”. We carry our traditions even as we embrace modernity.
6. What is beyond doubt, is UMNO Youth’s role as the catalyst in developing a government that is friendly to the aspirations of the younger generation. If in the past, UMNO Youth was principally a pressure group, today we have undergone a transition process towards more service-driven and reformist politics. In line with this, the government has taken a grand approach, which openly gives recognition to young people, with various specific initiatives suited to their psyche. The outdated approach informed by an over-bearing authoritativeness, prone to bossing people on the ground, and based on programs designed to entertain, can no longer be applied – as all these are oriented towards an approach which sidelines young people’s talents and belittles their potential .
7. These changes can be traced from the formation of the BN Youth Lab that was built especially to better understand the intuitions and behaviours of young Malaysians. Although this initiative is more than three years old, it is worth stressing that it was an UMNO Youth pioneering program, which introduced initiatives for young people, by young people. We have brought a transformation in politics, from an approach that was fairly random and relied heavily on guesswork, to a contemporary mechanism based on research and ideas from target groups. BN Youth Lab also elevated UMNO Youth’s voice, from being a pressure outfit into originators of meaningful policy ideas and proposals at a national level. Following on from this, various suggestions have been brought to bear, encompassing various aspects such as housing, education, law reform through the abolishment of ISA, amendment of UUCA, as well as many other policies and programs for childcare and elderly care, minimum wage, PTPTN loans, business loans, commodity price controls.
8. History was again made during the tabling of Budget 2011, during which various UMNO Youth’s policy proposals were mentioned and given recognition, such as My First Home Scheme, the formation of the 1Malaysia Youth Fund, the formation of the National Wage Consultation Council towards setting the minimum wage, various allocation of funds and capability-training schemes. All these youth-friendly budget initiatives are a consequence of the voice and efforts of UMNO Youth, whose role has become akin to a large umbrella in an open field, a place of relief and shelter for young people amidst the heat or rain.
9. Nothing comes easy. Each success story did not come from thin air, but was achieved through the meticulous planning and endeavours of all parties involved, be it the top leadership, the government or by this movement. It is from the work and approach of UMNO Youth that the BN government is today increasingly youth-friendly. Thus, make no mistake that UMNO Youth’s voice and role are heard and recognised by the party and government.
10. So long as we represent young people, the government will continue to elevate their voices and delve deep to fully appreciate their challenges. The latest manifestation of this is Budget 2013 – the most high-powered, youth-friendly budget thus far. A budget that encompasses many aspects and issues relating to the younger generation, such as housing, employment, training, entrepreneur-assistance schemes, cost of living, book vouchers, PTPTN discounts, childcare, BR1M 2.0 welfare assistance; even purchasing smartphones comes with a rebate!
11. As such, UMNO Youth is grateful for the fact that our President, Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak , is not only someone who lives and breathes the political reform agenda, but the aspirations of young people as well. We congratulate the President on the support and acknowledgment given to the young volunteerism program 1Malaysia for Youth (1M4U), especially as this volunteerism aspect was an offshoot of UMNO Youth’s 1Malaysia Youth Fund initiative.
12. Alhamdulillah, our hard work became the impetus for the wave of support of young people towards BN. This is no vacuous self-praise, but something that has been proven repeatedly. If before, we succeeded in winning back the support of young voters in the series of by-elections in recent years, today, evidence comes in the form of the university campus elections. 18 out of the 20 campus elections held were won by groups that supported BN. All these successes are a result of the fact that our agenda is an agenda for young people, our struggle is the struggle of young people. There is no doubt, BN is the choice of young people.
13. Reflecting on the story of our service over the past four years, we have managed to change general opinion and perceptions towards us through various youth-friendly ideas and initiatives that have been elevated to become government policies and programs. Committed to the same efforts, I want UMNO Youth to continue engaging the minds of young people, offering intellectual leadership, alongside strengthening our role as an agent of solutions and catalyst of ideas to government, so that generations to come will continue to reap the benefits. If we are quick to oppose but slow to think, we will find ourselves left at the back of the line.
14. Shouldering the responsibility as a catalyst of ideas, I submit the first proposal for this year. UMNO Youth always places importance on the aspect of training and empowerment amongst the younger generation; we often take the first step in helping our graduates and young people to gain employment. Moreover, we also assist those facing financial constraints so they may still further their studies. Seeing how very important empowerment is in human capital development, UMNO Youth holds that government needs to double down on efforts in this aspect. In fact, UMNO Youth is proactive in reflecting this dedication through the BN Youth Job Fair and the BN Youth Education Scholarship (BNYES). We will continue these initiatives, making them the legacy of this generation of UMNO Youth leadership, God willing.
15. UMNO Youth also welcomes programs like the 1Malaysia Training Scheme (SL1M), that was developed specifically to increase the capabilities of our graduates to gain employment, with the cooperation of Government-linked companies (GLCs) and other private firms. As such, UMNO Youth proposes to the government that the training agenda is shouldered by all parties, by ensuring that any government project and contract be awarded only to companies that offer industrial training programs to local youths. Through this approach, the responsibility of training young people will no longer be the government exclusively, but also shared by the private sector, which benefits from public projects and contracts. At the same time, it will create job opportunities and afford brighter prospects to young people who are looking for industry exposure.
16. Our second motion relates to the issue of foreign labour in this country; where it is estimated that even as of August last year, 2.3 million foreign workers reside in Malaysia– discounting those who are here illegally. We are not dismissing the role of foreign workers particularly in certain sectors such as agriculture and construction. At the same time, UMNO Youth is concerned by the trend of foreign labour inflow into other sectors, especially the services sector. This is a critical issue as we need to ensure that the structure and composition of our labour force is in line with the desire to transform the economy – from one based on cost competitiveness alone to one grounded in innovation and high value-add activity. We are aware that the cost to hire a foreign worker is lower than a local one. Therefore, UMNO Youth is proposing that companies generating employment for local youths to be given tax breaks and grants so they are not financially burdened in conducting their operations.
17. Moving on to UMNO Youth’s third proposal. As Chairman of the National Entrepreneur Development Corporation (PUNB), I often come across local companies that have succeeded in creating products and services of high quality, at par with foreign competitors. Unfortunately, these companies find it difficult to market their products and services to the government, because the government still depends on products from outside Malaysia. UMNO Youth is sympathetic towards these companies for the difficulties and challenges they face, and hopes the government can generate more opportunities for local entrepreneurs, by giving preference to local products and services, which are not only high in quality, but also meet the standards and conditions of tenders. We all know the Malaysian market is limited in size, and that local companies need to venture outside Malaysia to be successful. But to gain a foothold overseas, these companies must first be champions in the domestic market. Observing countries like China, Japan and Korea who prioritise local products, ultimately, we see that their brands benefit from an adequate ‘kick-start’ to succeed at the global level. Therefore, UMNO Youth proposes that the government introduces a Buy Malaysian First campaign, so that local entrepreneurs are given priority. UMNO Youth is not criticising, but merely offering a reminder not to neglect our own.
18. Next, we want to forward a proposal on religion, specifically about zakat, which is one of the pillars of Islam. Our religion commands us to be charitable and help one another. But today, the distribution of zakat money is not comprehensive and fails to reach the needy who deserve to receive zakat. When we hear cases of them being assisted by those of other faiths or of apostasy occurring among this group, we react in anger. The fact is, the blame is ours. As such, UMNO Youth proposes that the government expands its efforts to identify groups who qualify as recipients of the zakat (asnaf) at all levels, so that zakat assistance will reach those who really need it. As far as our religion is concerned, there is no excuse for these groups to be deprived of assistance, for Islam tells us that the desperate circumstances of poverty can sometimes lead to the loss of faith in God and religion.
19. Next, UMNO Youth’s fifth proposal is to widen the Bumiputera Commercial and Industrial Community (BCIC), especially amongst young entrepreneurs and professionals. While today’s approach is based on the principles of transparency and the market economy, this does not mean we neglect our objective of creating a Bumiputera community with more competitive and strong economic foundations and credentials. UMNO Youth will continue to speak out to ensure an even-playing field and to realise the goal of socioeconomic restructuring. We also hope that the government will widen opportunities for young Bumiputras to hold important roles in management and decision-making. Thus far, often times when there is an opening for a seat on a GLC board, the spot is given to political and civil service retirees. This practice should be reexamined; it does not stand to reason that there are no capable young Bumiputera professionals, either inside or outside this hall. We do not wish to belittle the wisdom and contribution of political and government retirees, but spare a thought for the younger generation. We are confident that their drive and the fresh ideas they bring to the table can add value to the management of an organisation.
20. Another problem facing young people is the question of bankruptcy which is a fate that befalls them at a young age as a result of being mired in debt. From almost 120,000 bankruptcy cases between 2005 and 2012, 32 percent involves young people. These young people cannot move on with their lives due to the burdens caused by being declared bankrupt and blacklisted. They cannot do business, they cannot purchase a home – all destroyed by the stigma of bankruptcy. UMNO Youth appeals to the government to extend a second chance to this group. The bankruptcy laws today are akin to a mandatory economic death sentence – many try to escape the rigid procedures but fail. UMNO Youth proposes that the government reexamines the current state of affairs for these individuals, and help release them from this mandatory economic death sentence that only piles misery on their lives. The procedure to be discharged from bankruptcy should be less stringent. Let us reduce the timeframe for which an individual must wait before applying to be discharged from bankruptcy, in line with the trend in other countries. We also need to help the young by educating them on financial management. In some cases, tax requirements could be delayed and financial assistance could be given to entrepreneurs to help keep them from bankruptcy. Let their futures not be destroyed because of this. UMNO Youth calls upon the government to help young people who are financially cornered.
21. The seventh proposal touches on the roof over the rakyat’s heads. UMNO Youth welcomes the government’s steps to enhance the My First Home Scheme and the RM500 million allocation for the 1Malaysia Housing Program (PR1MA). However, there are two issues that we would like to raise. The first relates to the inadequate number of housing units under PR1MA and the second, to the ballot system. Estimates show that close to 50 per cent of medium income households in the Klang Valley still do not own homes. There are only 9,000 empty units in Selangor and Kuala Lumpur, compared to the 370,000households still searching for their own homes. Secondly, while we celebrate the ballot system used by PR1MA, UMNO Youth also asks that there be a special quota for young families in all PR1MA projects, to ensure that this group does not miss out on the opportunity to own a home.
22. In line with championing the aspirations of the people, our eighth proposal is about the restructuring of welfare support, as the total assistance offered must be more logical, in line with the needs of the less fortunate to alleviate their difficulty. For example, the Bedridden Persons With Disability (PWD) Care assistance and the Chronic Bedridden Patients assistance are a mere RM300 a month. It takes little imagination to know that RM300 is nowhere enough to cover the cost of adult diapers let alone medication, transportation to and from the hospital, as well as food and drink for the care-giver. Given this, UMNO Youth strongly proposes that the government immediately revamp the relevant welfare policies, by looking at the amounts allocated and the criteria for qualification, so that we may truly realise our intent to give aid.
23. On to the ninth proposal; UMNO Youth urges the Prime Minister to be steadfast and committed to his political transformation program. Apart from economic issues, political transformation is critical to young people, wherever they may be. They desire measures that make Malaysia more open and democratic – an effort which began during the leadership of Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and which the Prime Minister is continuing. But our efforts cannot stop; UMNO and BN is the true party that fights for good governance and against corruption. The party that protects human rights and champions the civil society agenda. This is the political reality of today. Though in the past we may have thought we cannot live peacefully without the ISA, today we have proven otherwise. Thus, UMNO Youth advocates that the government continue this political transformation so that the younger generation does not have to look elsewhere for political reform. When young people think of change, we want them to believe that BN is the ultimate choice. BN is the party that fights for integrity, transparency, freedom and justice since the beginning and for all time.
24. The tenth proposal is a special initiative by UMNO Youth that will bring good news to thousands of young people. Based on research by the UMNO Youth Urban Affairs Secretariat, there are an estimated 200 thousand motorcyclists, specifically young people, who do not hold licenses. It may be that they are careless, and it may be that the costs of obtaining a licence are too high. Many among them have been found guilty in court for riding without a licence, and they cannot afford legal representation. Others live in fear as arrest warrants have been issued against them. This cannot continue. We must accept the fact that many face this fate because they cannot pay the costs of obtaining a licence. With this in mind, I want to announce a new initiative by UMNO Youth called the 1Malaysia Licence Assistance Program (BL1M), with a pioneer project already launched in Pekan. We will work with JPJ, PDRM and other agencies to offer motorcycle licences at RM199, which is 50 percent cheaper than market price. We will also request that the government sponsors some of the BL1M applicants who come from low-income families so that they may obtain licences at no financial cost. We are also in the process of negotiation to allow those who have faced court action to be given amnesty through BL1M, such that they may be relieved of any fear of imprisonment. This is a special gift from UMNO Youth to young people stuck in tough circumstances.
25. Let there be no doubt, UMNO Youth plays a vital role as the next generation of senior party leaders. I dare say that many at the helm of the national leadership today cut their teeth and grew in UMNO Youth, even our President is a former Head of UMNO Youth. Our Deputy President once sat on the Exco of UMNO Youth. Two out of the three UMNO Vice Presidents today was each Head of UMNO Youth nationally, while the other was head at the state level.
26. We are cognisant of this heritage. But as Hamzah Fansuri reminds us in his syair Perahu – youth and strength don’t last forever, we have it but momentarily. Our careers and struggles in UMNO Youth come with a shelf life. But if we are to be young only once, let it be a most meaningful time of our lives. Do not let our struggle and service in this movement cease at one, two or three terms. We must craft a strategy beyond conventional norms to develop a high-powered generation of leaders to carry on the legacy of this movement – a generation that has the fighting spirit of Jebat, the boldness and strength of Megat Seri Rama.
27. History teaches us that this question of developing successors for leadership must begin early, and should not be taken lightly. In line with our hopes to develop a generation of high quality leaders to replace us, UMNO Youth continues to work tirelessly to drive new membership. And in fact, we have long led other wings and the main body in terms of new members. In the 43 or so months I have led this movement, there has not been a month where UMNO Youth was not the most productive on the question of new membership. The figures don’t lie. Facts clearly show that UMNO Youth is the main entry point into UMNO – especially amongst young people. But let us not be mistaken, while youth does not denote ignorance, quantity does not guarantee quality. Our efforts and responsibilities do not stop at taking names and registering members; the next challenge comes in the form of building a generation of leaders that are well versed in the new political landscape, able to generate new ideas and manifest wishes of the contemporary generation onto the body of UMNO Youth itself.
28. In keeping with the tune of the younger generation, we have organised programs that suit their spirit, such as the BN Youth Volunteers (BNYV) dan BN Youth Kampus (BNYK), which was launched yesterday. Notwithstanding the fact that BNYV is something very close to my heart, what cannot be denied is that BNYV is proof of UMNO Youth’s rebranding, evidenced by the strong reception to the program. Under BNYV, around 10 thousand young people have begun to identify with the spirit of BN’s struggle. Moreover, the young people involved in BNYV and BNYK are no ordinary profiles. These are individuals with strong character, who are inquisitive, and have their own mission and vision. With such personalities, they will carry the principles and philosophies of our party. They do not buy into the empty promises of the opposition. And if previously, we thought we would not be able to win over their hearts, today it is clear that the rebranding of UMNO Youth towards a more service-driven politics has succeeded in capturing the support of this group so critical to our struggle.
29. In the past, there may have apprehension on their part to approach our party, which is rich in its own tradition and protocol. But today through BNYV and BNYK, we have adapted our approach to become more open, pragmatic and inclusive, to get closer to this new generation. Whilst these efforts are certainly not meant to displace the central role of party divisions and branches, they are a clear translation of our creativity in building high quality and high potential human capital for our party. God-willing, these young individuals will be the next layer of UMNO Youth leaders, carrying on the legacy for the following generation.
30. No matter the inroads and sacrifices we have made, we will never forget that our political strategy must include holistic and comprehensive planning. As such, the central leadership and I will continue to work hard to identify fresh talents from within and outside our organisation, for us to develop into the future hope once our time in UMNO Youth is up. Be it UMNO Youth branches or university campuses, we will continue to go down to the ground to look for high-potential individuals!
31. If today our main focus is GE13, after the General Elections, we must double our efforts to train and sharpen the talents of young leaders. In this context, speaking of training and education, UMNO Youth is aware that the contents of our political curriculum must jive with the challenges and landscape of today’s politics. What is the point of looking for a thousand potential leaders of tomorrow if today they are taught obsolete political content?
I have often touched on the question of transformation in our political landscape as it is very clear that the mindset and desires of the young are markedly different from previous generations. To assist in the training of these future leaders, I am announcing our intent to build a special academy for UMNO Youth, to be named Akademi Kepimpinan Kapten Hussein (AKHI). My ambition is for this academy to be built in Sabah, a state in which although UMNO’s establishment is relatively ‘recent’, has become one of the party’s strongholds. This shall be our legacy in developing the leadership of the future.
32. Alongside thinking about the question of leadership for the future, we must reflect on our role as young leaders of today. Allah SWT said in Surah al-Rum, verse 54: “ It is Allah who has created you in the state of helplessness as a baby, then gave you strength to come out of helplessness in youth, then after strength again helplessness and grey hair in old age. He creates whatever He wills and it is He who is the All-knowing, the Almighty. “ What this verse teach us is that youth comes only once in a lifetime. It is a phase of life that is quite important in generating leadership. The desired destination is clear, even if there remains a fair distance. Although much remains to be learnt, we recognize that by and large, our youths are on good foundations, with strengths and identities of their own. This age represents the best time to explore new ideas, at once renewing the leadership and political models of previous generations. Youth is the golden era that grants a priceless opportunity - an opportunity that did not exist before this age, nor come again once the ship of youth has sailed.
33. Guided by this outlook, we are also aware that God Almighty has charted for each of us our own tests and fate. Allah SWT said in Surah al-Baqarah, verse 286: “ Allah does not charge a soul except (with that within) its capacity. ”
34. Hence, even as we strive to capitalize on the opportunities our young age offer and manifest the best of our abilities, we must also realise each person differs in his leadership capacities. It is inevitable in any political arena that many would harbour ambitions to reach the summit of leadership. In our climb, let us not be too eager lest we forget the central role of virtue. Our Creator never demanded that each of us be the supreme leader of a community, never mind the country. Rather, Islam teaches us to unite, and to race to all that is good and virtuous; in line with the responsibilities entrusted upon us by God.
35. Thus, if we hold on to a struggle based on this concept of duty to God, we will not be filled with jealousy or be unscrupulous in pursuit of earthly positions. Far more noble is a sincere struggle befitting our own God-given abilities. Such is the key to the success of a righteous struggle – rather than any scramble to be the chief, head or the representative. Moreover, in the context of UMNO and this movement, our strengths do not rest solely on the shoulders of top leadership alone. On the contrary, our backbone is made up of the hard work of young warriors at all levels - each with his own set of strengths and advantages. With prayers, steadfastness and sincerity in our efforts God-willing, Islam will provide the guidance for us to create a leadership model based on sincerity and submission to God; performing duties and responsibilities for the benefit of all, and not for any self-gratification.
36. As we contribute our blood, sweat and tears based on our individual strengths, we know that among us there those worthy of being elevated as leaders on the national political stage. In line with our desire to capitalize on the opportunities of youth, we believe that our time has come. Recent political trends give a clear indication: we cannot deny the fact that this generation of youth is the biggest deciding factor in our nation’s political fate.
Last year in this august hall, I touched on the notion of a generational shift based on the mindset change amongst young people. Lately, this question of generational shift appears ever more urgent. From our interactions with young people on the ground, their thirst for a leadership that is consistent with their perspectives and evaluations has become increasingly clear.
37. As youths ourselves, we are indeed in the best position to truly reflect their desires and aspirations. We are closest to the youths; we interact with and mingle amongst them. We are the ones at the forefront fighting for their interests, be it in Parliament, behind the scenes, on centre stage, anywhere and everywhere - to ensure that all government policies are youth – friendly policies.
38. UMNO Youth is not insisting for anything for its own selfish benefit or gratification. However, given the present political reality, we hope that this generational shift does not happen only on paper. If the political reality shows that young people represent the largest segment of new voters, is it not reasonable that they will want representatives from among their peers as well? It would be better if this generational shift also occur at the party level, reflected in the increased number of Youth candidates given the opportunity to stand in the next general election.
39. And I am confident that, armed with the awareness and commitment of UMNO Youth, many of us are ready to take on the challenge as election candidates. Nonetheless, our loyalty and deference to the President’s final decision has never wavered. We are merely expressing our burning desire borne out of the love for our country, and of the belief that our time has arrived. All our endeavours are based on our sense of duty, responsibility and love towards UMNO.
Kalau roboh kota Melaka
Papan di Jawa hamba dirikan
Kalau sungguh perkasa belaka
Badan dan kudrat sila taruhkan
Ke KotaTinggi membeli suasa
Suasa di ikat bersama
Giliran kita sudah tiba
Kini masa orang muda ke depan
Nasi lemak buah bidara
Sayang selasih hamba lurutkan
Kami pemuda sudah bersedia
Pantang berundur mengalah jangan!
40. The moment of reckoning is here; this is to be the last UMNO General Assembly before we face the most intense elections in our history. Unfolding before our eyes and evident in our minds: two choices for the People to decide between which is true and which is false; who is worthy and who will falter in their quest to hold the helm. A choice between two futures, to be decided in the coming elections. And when we speak of choices, let us not simply opt for what we have an appetite for, that is an outdated mode of thought. As people with intellect and wisdom, we should instead question our minds, delve into our hearts before making the choice on the ballot paper.
41. The first future offered by our opponents looks extremely sweet and wonderful. The populist promises of Pakatan know no boundaries. A future based on everything being free - or close to being free – may sound like music to your ears, but the reality could not be more different. Be it the promises to cut fuel prices the day after they come to power, to eliminate PTPTN immediately, to abolish tolls with little care for consequences, to reduce car prices, or even to provide free education, everything looks rosy in a utopia created by Anwar Ibrahim. But let us not forget that there is no such thing as a free lunch; his promises can bankrupt the country. The cost of their promises will top RM200 billion in the first year alone. For the opposition, whether the country becomes bankrupt or not, whether finances are managed properly or otherwise, is of no concern; all that’s important is to seize power.
42. The first test of any promise is in the details. In this case, keep in mind that totalallocations in the 2012 Federal Government budget is about RM232.8 billion. The opposition’s election promises amount to almost 90 percent of this total – the annual government budget. Thus, if they meet all the promises in their first year of governing, there will not be enough funds to pay the salaries of teachers, doctors, nurses, the police and military personnel, let alone to build roads, schools, hospitals or providing welfare assistance. If this happens, all essential services will cease to operate and the country will effectively fail to function. Alternatively, if the Opposition decides to borrow more money to fund their promises, the federal deficit will swell and national debt will rise exponentially.
43. This is the stark reality behind the rosy picture sketched by the opposition – darkened by the shadows of unrealistic promises. This is the crux of the matter: if they deliver on their populist promises - the nation will go bankrupt and drown in a sea of debt. Or it may well be their intention to fulfill the shortsighted wishes of their de facto Leader – to drive the country to the edge of ruin before being rescued by his friends at the IMF.
44. The people have grown wise, and we know that the opposition is a merchant of false dreams. From north to south, from the Peninsula to Borneo, they tirelessly spew rhetoric. On the other end of the spectrum, a future with us means something else altogether. Malaysia with BN will not experience the fate of Greece, the people will not be imprisoned by a crippling burden of debt. We will not wreak havoc and destabilize the economy unlike the opposition coalition, with whom we may well find ourselves on our knees begging from the IMF.
45. Setting aside for the moment the spectre of national bankruptcy, are we willing to risk our country’s fate by putting it in the hands of an Opposition who possess no track record of governing the nation? Of course, they presently govern some states, but the recent Auditor General's Report indicates chaos at the heart of their administrations.
46. In Selangor for example, what has happened to the Selangor Child Heritage Fund (TAWAS) they bandied about with great fanfare across the state? The promise to issue fixed deposit certificates of RM100 for every Selangor-born child has been exposed in no uncertain terms in the Auditor General’s Report. The hopes of families in Selangor to lift some burden off their shoulders were shattered – out of 61 thousand applications, only 36 per cent were approved. In my book, this is utter failure. Clearly, TAWAS is a lost cause.
47. We have not yet gone through the troubles at UNISEL. I need not say much to remind Pakatan that according to the 2008 Audit Report; UNISEL recorded RM5.97 million in profits, inherited from the BN administration. However, in the span of just two years, all profits have been wiped out due to the greed and incompetence of the Opposition – profits of nearly RM6 million have turned to a staggering RM47.3 million in losses as of 2010. I propose that before promising to provide free education, first fix the mess that is UNISEL.
48. These are what the audit report has unearthed on Tawas and UNISEL. Well, what about the promises given prior to the PRU 12?
• Where is the free preschool education?
• What about the promise to contribute to the Takaful premiums for senior citizens and disabled persons?
• Where is the special allowance for single mothers, so much so they have sued the PKR Government. What about the special allowance for housewives?
• What has happened to the promise of free water every month, without condition?
49. That’s only for the state of Selangor, and we have not delved in detail on what is happening in Kedah, Kelantan and Pulau Pinang;
• The ‘Program Ladang Rakyat’, that was meant to assist the poor by providing dividends and wages, has been a thorough disappointment.
• Moreover, this failed project is tainted by cronyism. They spare no effort in accusing us of cronyism, but lo and behold, in secret they lease the project to crony companies handpicked by the PAS government itself, without due process and evaluation.
• They create a ruckus over the Lynas and Pengerang projects, under the guise of environmentalism. But they are blind to their own shortcomings on the very agenda they claim to champion, as evidenced by the contaminated water retention area in Bukit Pos Pasik contaminated due to excessive logging and land clearing. The Orang Asli are forced to face diseases due to dirty water that continues to plague the people of Kelantan.
• The appearance of an opposition that champions the rakyat came crushing down in the case of Taman Manggis, where land that was supposed to be utilised for low cost housing was sold to a private company. Here, I would like to congratulate the Pulau Pinang BN Youth for exposing the chief minister’s deceit by calling his bluff and raising sufficient funds to purchase the land. Until today, Lim Guan Eng dares not meet the challenge, likely for fear that it may reveal things he wants kept under wraps.
• The state management is even more chaotic. They find it fit to make investment overseas without the approval of the Board of Directors thus exposing the state funds to risky investments.
• Abuse of power is rampant in Kedah, including in providing low cost housing to the poor: Evidence shows cases of unqualified contractors appointed and of bizarre instance where payment meant for one contractor was paid to another
• There are also cases of contractors making multiple claims on the same job as well as on jobs for housing units which do not even exist. This is nothing less than a major sin; cheating the poor through corruption and being untrustworthy.
50. That is the poor management of the Pakatan Administration, where lands are being confiscated, allocations are being sacrificed, the environment is disrespected and financial management severely compromised. If they have the opportunity to run the country, everything will collapse and we will be inviting doom. If we were to study in detail the populist promises of the opposition and their failures, we will be here in this hall until dawn. Suffice to say that the opportunity they had to administer several states have gone to waste. Promises made were unreasonable and ended up unfulfilled. Public financial affairs of the opposition-led states were not properly and prudently managed and in the final analysis they are just incapable and unfit to govern the nation!
51. Talk is cheap, and promises are delusions. This is completely different from the future BN brings. Our fight has never been to inundate, and eventually destroy the country, with populist promises. The future we offer to the people is based on genuine transformation, not a reformation beleaguered with false promises.
52. We are fully aware that our survival must be based on reality. Hence, the future the BN Government plans is built upon thorough research and facts. We will only offer deliverable promises upon assessing our financial strengths and commitments. Unlike the opposition, our government will not gamble with the future of its citizens.
53. We are blind if we cannot translate the last 55 years since independence into a testament of BN’s credibility and strength in governing this country. It is true that no administration is ever faultless. However, despite the weaknesses, over the period of more than half a century, only BN’s leadership has been capable of exploring our independence. BN has stepped up in filling in the needs of administration, restructured the economy, industrialised the agriculture sector and marked our presence in the world of information technology. These commitments are further translated by the President’s own farsighted leadership, and transformation programs.
54. We need only look at the Government Transformation Program (GTP) in order to appreciate that the BN government has become more attentive in listening to the people’s voices and plights. As a result, we have reduced the cost of living expenses while fighting corruption, widening education and reducing the national crime rate. Meanwhile, the Economic Transformation Program (ETP) has made Malaysia an oasis; stable and developing amidst global economic downturn. While some nations in the world are suffering, their unemployment rates have also gone up coupled with increasing cost of goods. On the contrary, our country is thriving under the BN government’s economic vision. We should be proud that we are able to expand our economic activities, increase job and business opportunities, attract foreign investors and grow our trade. These are not tricks of a dream weaver, but a reality of today and for tomorrow. God willing it will be better still. The reality is, the Opposition are not capable of bringing our nation to be a developed country with high income, stable nor creating sufficient job opportunities by 2020. The Oppositions is only good at giving promises, but we are the architects of reality BN lives in the real world, we do not dwell in fantasy. In essence, a future with vision and reality, is a future with Barisan Nasional.
55. We have only explored the differences of how BN and the Opposition are managing the economy and it has become crystal clear to us that the future with UMNO and BN is more stable and assured, while that of Pakatan is bleak and doomed. Moving on, we should also look at the future from the perspective of our social values and national pride. It is still clear in our mind how photos of our Prime Minister were stepped on, torn and insulted by the flashing of naked bottoms. Who taught such ideas to our youths if not the opposition who are encouraging politics of hate to the young generation so that they despise our leaders from an early age.
56. What has happened to a culture of consensus and Parliamentary democracy? If Pakatan rules, Parliament will be a white elephant because they do not subscribe to the rule of law but prefer to riot. For them what is important is who can shout louder and how big a crowd gathers for street demonstrations. They do not believe in having discussions with the government, they persist with street demonstrations. All they bring is a culture of anarchy and revolution.
57. Is this the future that we want under them? Is such cloudiness what the Opposition want so badly for the new generation? What happened to our Eastern values? Where are the plans for the development of our country, the dignity and honour of our nation? All lost in the lust for power.
58. History is not just a record, history outlines lessons that must be remembered. We are proud because history demonstrates that our leaders are synonymous with our independence. UMNO is the first bastion to fight for our freedom from the colonial powers and all of us in this hall are heirs to this tradition of independence. But there are also those who tirelessly threaten our independence. Their de facto leader has been caught out, he thirsts and pleads for foreign intervention in the upcoming general elections. This will not only bring shame to the country but also disgrace our own independence. So desperate are they that they are willing to invite foreign powers to determine our political destiny. It is clear they have no confidence in the people’s wisdom to determine our future, that they would drag outsiders been established for some time to teach us, whereas our Democracy has long been established. This is the future we face under Pakatan: sovereignty taken, dignity affronted.
59. UMNO’s struggle has never strayed from Islam’s core and values, and we are true warriors in defending the dignity of the religion, unlike the party with an Islamic name. Their religious leaders were quiet when insolent people like Ngeh belittled our religion, afraid to speak when DAP cynically laughed at the concept of an Islamic Nation. And when a new group encouraged apostasy they became completely silent. If so, then PAS are not champions of the faith, they merely use religion as a platform for their political agenda. Under Islam’s pure values, PAS’ top leaders are willing to pray to Allah for the destruction of UMNO: my destruction and the destruction of all of you in this hall. If such prayers are taught to our children, what will be the future of our people and faith if they come to power? Whoever they dislike will receive a prayer for their destruction. Never mind, that is not who we are, we will all together pray for PAS members to be safe always, and that one day they will return and free themselves from the clutch of leaders who love sewing hatred.
60. In the context of fighting for religion and universal justice, UMNO has always been behind the Palestinian people, but what of the Opposition? According to the editor of The Wall Street Journal, the De Facto leader proudly proclaimed, “I support all efforts to protect the security of the state of Israel”. But as soon as the Israeli regime bombards Palestine, the same individual is willing to make a U-turn! He says that the Israelis are terrorists for attacking Gaza. Yet another clear example of how a chameleon changes its colours to suit present circumstances.
61. What of the choice between two futures for the Malays? Rest assured, only UMNO can protect the Malay people. This is not a question of choice, it is a fact, because no other party can protect the position of the Malays and Islam, other than UMNO. It has been proven that the Opposition has no regard for the struggles and sacrifices of the Malays.
As we put forth the inclusive concept of 1Malaysia, UMNO will not fade, let alone retreat for one step, from being defenders of the Malay struggle. It is clear that in the midst of the Malay confusion at seeing PAS putting aside their goal for a theocracy, with PKR being busy with the personal affairs of their de facto leader, UMNO still strives for the future of the Malay people. UMNO is the protector of Malay rights, UMNO is the torchbearer for the future of the Malays, UMNO and Malays will forever be joined.
62. Now clear before us, is that the future with BN will ensure a constitution upheld, our King ascendant, Islam will be honoured, national sovereignty will be defended and Malays will be empowered. Meanwhile, a future under the Opposition will see the country awaiting bankruptcy, with a people’s dignity trampled, with chaos all round, with an undefended Islam, we will face moral degradation, and who knows? Even our independence may be sacrificed. With the Opposition’s deceit, the Malaysian Federation will become the Malaysian divide. They will not hesitate to employ different ideologies and laws. PAS' version of Hudud law will control the lives of people in the East Coast instilling fear into the lives of Non-Muslims while the concept of “Malaysian Malaysia” that sidelines Malays will rule in Kuala Lumpur and Pulau Pinang. In the PKR ruled states, nothing is sacred; everything is permissible, anything goes, as long as Anwar reigns supreme.
63. What manner of coalition is this? They call themselves Pakatan, but rarely are they united, unable to even decide on their candidate for Prime Minister. Who will be
Pakatan’s Prime Minister? PAS says Hadi Awang, DAP says Anwar Ibrahim, the younger set in PKR says it should be the de Facto leader’s child. In fact, many in Pakatan want the Prime Minister’s job, but it is all murky and uncertain. BN is different – everything is clear, we only have one choice for Prime Minister and no other, YAB Dato’ Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak. Under the rule of the Opposition, the country will be torn; the unity of the people will be irrevocably divided! For the sake of our sovereign nation, UMNO Youth will never let the country be split under three different systems, three opposing philosophies and three separate political ideologies. Do not sacrifice the hard-fought battles our forefathers endured to unite this country, we will not allow our future to be crushed in their hands. Surely, only one future will keep us together, the future of 1Malaysia, for all Malaysians, under Barisan Nasional!
64. The elections battle cry echoes, be ready UMNO Youth do not forget. From the blood sweat and tears of he who fought for our independence, the sacrifices of he who first developed our nation, how fraught with obstacles was the road taken by he who brought our peoples together. UMNO is the defender of the Malays. UMNO Youth is the warriors of our people. Indeed, history holds the truth; we take heed of the lessons from Onn Jaafar’s dreams lost.
Semboyan perang pilihan raya sudah bergema, bersedialah Pemuda jangan kau alpa.
Mahal airmata bapa kemerdekaan itu benar;
Getirnyapengorbanan bapa pembangunan itu benar;
Berlikunya jalan bapa perpaduan itu benar;
UMNO pembela bangsa Melayu itubenar;
Pemuda UMNO hulubalang bangsa itu juga benar;
Kita ambil pengajaran dari mimpi-mimpi Onn Jaafar yang hilang.
65. We demolish the tricks of the Opposition with fervour, do not ever forget. In front of us, enemy troops advance rapidly. Step by step, they drag their flags and canons of destruction, that will destroy the harmony that we have long built.
66. The history of the world has taught us – such things have happened before. Defining moments between right and wrong; between prosperity and damnation; between betrayers and warriors! For the faithful, the time has come, the true meaning of struggle. Gambling life and death in the name of honour and belief.
67. Let us remember the moment World War Two erupted, the time when the Axis powers were close to reaching British shores, when then British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, fueled the fighting spirit of his people. Bitter moments between two possibilities, between two futures, between light and darkness. This warrior did not falter, did not fear, and so he vowed: his country will fight at sea, in the air, on the beaches and even on the streets itself. Even starved and subjugated his country would never surrender!
68. With our fighting spirit, I urge you delegates, let us charge our enemies where ever they may be! We will debate them in Parliament, we will smash their arguments in coffee shops, and we will expose their lies in the cyberspace! No matter where we are, we will defeat these traitors of the nation. We will fight, we will attack, we will lay this wretched Pakatan coalition into the ground!
69. Young patriots, defining moments like this do not come often. Our party's battlecry has never roared so loud. The echoes call each and every one of us, no matter how bad the storm, even should our dreams vanish, we will give our all in this battle, to the last drop of blood in our veins! This is our oath, we will let everyone know, ensure that history will be written, when the enemy arrives, UMNO Youth soldiers will stand fast in the front lines, prepared to sacrifice, for religion, people and country.
LONG LIVE UMNO!
LONG LIVE UMNO!
LONG LIVE UMNO!