KUALA LUMPUR: Datuk Seri Najib Razak today delivered a strong message that Umno has never been a racist party, as alleged by opposition parties.
The Umno president stressed that the party would not have been able to work well with component parties representing other races for so many decades, had it been been extreme in its racial stand.
"Umno is not anti-Chinese – but it was evident that the Chinese community, and some of the Indians, were misled and fell for the lies and promises spewed by the opposition.
"The truth is, Umno is for all, because all this while, we have been celebrating diversity, and we believe in the principle of living together in harmony," he said in his policy address at the Umno general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here today.
Najib pointed out that Umno has been a victim of (negative) perception politics masterminded by Opposition parties, as was proven in the 13th General Election.
"Umno is not weak... In fact, we have increased our Parliament seats from 79 to 88, but was made to look weak due to the tricks played up by the Opposition.
"Speaking of (negative) perception, another example in the previous general election was the lies spread by the Opposition that the government had brought in 40,000 phantom voters from Bangladesh.
"They also spread another lie that the indelible ink could be easily washed off. One Opposition leader even claimed that they had won the general election at 4am on the polling day itself, even before voters had cast their vote," he said.
Najib added that he would not be surprised if the Opposition resorts to using all sorts of lies in the 14th general election (GE14).
He later reminded the delegates to strive to win the minds and hearts of the fence-sitters in GE14, whom he described as persuadable voters.