By Datuk Mokhtar Hussain
KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 7 (Bernama) -- The message by UMNO President Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak at Dewan Merdeka of the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) today is crystal clear, that the upcoming 14th general election (GE14) is a huge battle, and with a huge mission.
He likened the coming general election to going to war.
As such, the prime minister diligently imparted upon the delegates that this general assembly and the coming general election is not only for the sake of UMNO or Barisan Nasional (BN) alone, but one that will determine the survival and destination of Malaysians and the country.
"This (coming) general election is not just another general election," he said, adding that It also determined "the fate of the nation".
The mission is so massive. Various transformation programmes and 1Malaysia products have been introduced. Infrastructure projects are not implemented only in the federal capital, but also in the rural and interior areas, including in Sabah and Sarawak.
All these need the necessary support and a huge mandate, not only from UMNO or BN members, but from all the people to together uphold the aspiration to empower the race and transform the country.
Throughout the policy speech, the words "general election" were mentioned not less than 20 times by the president and he also repeatedly reminded the delegates of the possible disaster if the mission failed.
"In this war, which is the mother of all general elections, we will fight all out," said Najib to the cheering sea of party delegates, including Wanita, Youth and Puteri members, who were dressed in red.
UMNO realises the huge challenges facing this coming general election. Firstly, the cyber war, with the dissemination of inaccurate information and lies.
According to Najib, UMNO and BN had become victims of the opposition's politics of deception.
Secondly, the opponents are not only the traditional opposition such as the DAP but those who were once fellow comrades in the Supreme Council, and even a former number one leader.
Even though he is 92, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad is seen to have overshadowed other opposition leaders such as Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim and Lim Kit Siang in the upcoming general election.
Speaking at the UMNO Youth assembly yesterday, its chief Khairy Jamaluddin reminded Malaysians especially young people not to be deceived by the "misplaced nostalgia" which gave the impression that Dr Mahathir's era was better than the present one.
Khairy also wanted young voters to be aware of various developmental realities that were brought forth by the current prime minister.
Vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is discharging the duties of deputy president reminded UMNO wings - Wanita, Youth and Puteri - on Si Kitol and prime minister (Mamak) Mandaliar who betrayed their people.
"Today, the images of Si Kitol and prime minister (Mamak) Mandaliar have come to light. As we drive the encompassment of nation's achievement, this individual who once led us, now wants to destroy UMNO," he said.
Najib also recited Dr Mahathir's poem during UMNO General Assembly 2001 entitled "Melayu Mudah Lupa" (Malays Forget Easily).
"Melayu Mudah Lupa refers to himself, because people who stick to the spirit and philosophy of the party's struggle like us all, InsyaAllah will not become Malays who forget easily like them!" said Najib.
When UMNO is ready, BN component parties will also be ready.
"The (Najib's) message is clear. Barisan (Nasional) should be more prepared for this election and we should be able to win convincingly," said People's Progressive Party (PPP) president Tan Sri M. Kayveas.