Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said it is vital for every leaders to understand the spirit behind the leadership cycle concept, whereby past leaders should give space to the next level of leaders to continue developing the country. (pic by NSTP/AMRAN HAMID)

LANGKAWI: Past leaders should allow the current leadership to carry on with the task of developing the nation and avoid letting anger and frustration from destroying their legacies.

Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak said it is vital for every leaders to understand the spirit behind the leadership cycle concept, whereby past leaders should give space to the next level of leaders to continue developing the country.

Najib said the current leaders should be allowed to charter the country's development according to their own style that suits the future needs and challenges.

He said it is unbecoming for a former leader to destroy whatever had been built out of anger and frustration, to the extend that the person forgets Umno's fundamental struggles and values.

In a veiled reference to Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Najib said the former prime minister had made a similar-sounding remark when he was in power.

"I still remember clearly that the leader once said that when we no longer hold any positions, we must give full support to the current leadership, because when we led, they were the ones who supported us.

"Has he forgotten it? I will never forget. If someone dislikes any leader, do not attack the party to the extend of ruining it," Najib said in his speech at the opening of the Langkawi Umno division delegates meeting here today.

Also present were Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah, Langkawi Umno division chief Datuk Nawawi Ahmad, his deputy Datuk Mohd Rawi Abdul Hamid and the division wings leaders.

Najib stressed that struggles based on idealism could not be achieved in one or two days as it will take several generations to be completed.

"We need time to accomplish the struggles on idealism and it may well take up to three to four or even five generations. It can not be done overnight.

"Our duty is to carry the torch of our forefathers. When Tun Abdul Razak took over from Tunku Abdul Rahman, he continued with the foundation laid by the first prime minister.

"This was followed by Tun Hussein Onn, Tun Dr Mahathir. When I took over from Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, I continue with the duty to uphold the struggles and add value to what had been built by the forefathers," he said.

He said in a span of six decades, Malaysia has achieved significant success to the extend of becoming a model nation.

Najib later paid tribute to Langkawi Umno members and the party's 3 million members nationwide for giving him all the support and strength to wade through all the attacks from outside, including from the former party leaders.

"If I am to be compared to a shady tree or a big ship, I am not that strong on my own.. But I am still strong because of the 3 million Umno members who are standing firm behind me." Najib said.

He said while Umno acknowledges the contribution of past leaders, members could not afford to have a sentiment towards personality.

"We cannot have a sentiment towards personality, because the party is bigger than any individual. That applies to me as well," he said.

Najib also assured the delegates that for as long as he is the party president and the prime minister, he would give a special attention to Langkawi's development.