Key points raised by Umno President Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi at the Opening of the 58th Umno General Assembly
Umno is committed to strengthening Islam and will not apologise for doing so. Islam promotes moderation. During the general assembly in 2004, I laid out the 10 principles of Islam Hadhari, an approach that was understood and supported by component parties of Barisan Nasional.
Calls to return to the spirit of the Federal Constitution should be viewed in a positive light, interpreted with wisdom and without prejudice. The Constitution must be viewed as a whole, and selected clauses cannot be interpreted in isolation or out of context.
Racial and religious tolerance
We give assurance that Umno will not endorse a narrow interpretation of Islam. Umno opposes the culture of violence, we oppose a political culture that can disrupt the daily lives and commercial affairs of the ummah. Umno believes that Islam will not grow, nor will it be respected if it is confined to rituals. If we fight for Islam, armed only with slogans and rhetoric, we will not achieve excellence.
Islam and non-Muslims
The application of Islam through the prism of shallow minds and narrow interpretations can cause discomfort not only among non-Muslims but among Muslims themselves. Overzealous enforcement can give Islam a negative image. Failure to understand the needs of adherents of other religions and denying them the rights runs counter to the spirit of the Federal Constitution.
Auditor-General’s Report and ACA
I am happy with the quick action taken by the Anti-Corruption Agency and I am certain that many public servants support these actions, which protect the dignity and integrity of their profession.
The corridors of growth
When our plans succeed, it will transform the face of Malaysia. Development will not just be concentrated in major urban areas but will instead be spread to every area of our nation. This is our noble ambition.
Malays - self-confidence and the future
Worry, fear and a sense of being under threat occurs when Malays are insufficiently prepared. For as long as Malays remain unambitious, they will fear meritocracy. The feelings of inferiority, nervousness and insufficiency are poisons that have been injected into the Malay mentality since colonial times. These poisons must be removed. Malays, when given the proper guidance and fair opportunity, are prepared to compete.
Crime and security
It is caused, among others, by social problems and in some cases as a result of the influx of illegal immigrants. Media reports of crimes have heightened the public’s awareness, but the dramatic manner in which the news is presented gives the impression that this country is no longer safe.
The Government is aware of the problem and in both the Ninth Malaysia Plan and the 2008 Budget, a large allocation has been granted to the police. It should be understood that the large personnel increases required by the police could not be filled overnight. It takes time to hire and train new police personnel. While this is happening, the country and society must be supportive of the police and refrain from undermining the public’s confidence in the force.
The keris and Umno
The act of unsheathing and kissing a keris is part of our cultural heritage, but its meaning has been twisted to spread fear among non-Malays, and the image of Umno and Malaysia has been smeared overseas. On behalf of Umno’s leaders and members, I give assurance that Umno will never breach the spirit of the understanding that has been agreed with other communities at the time of Merdeka. Opportunities are available to all. There is a future for every Malaysian in this country.
The new media and press freedom
Information is now distributed through multiple channels. In this context, we must intelligently balance the need for media freedom with the basis for political stability that we have enjoyed. The Government wishes to see the media industry grow into an industry that is progressive and open, an industry that can carry out its responsibilities with integrity and responsibility.
Power sharing and Merdeka
A country that celebrates 50 years of independence must be populated with a free people – a people who have the belief and confidence in their future. Its people must shoulder the responsibility of defending its freedom; a people who live in harmony between communities and religions; a people who are broad minded and big hearted.
The National Mission
The National Mission has five main thrusts – moving the economy up the value chain; developing first class human capital; addressing persistent socio-economic imbalances; improving quality of life; and strengthening institutional capacity – all of which are universal, constant requirements for national building. The strength of our human capital will determine the success of the Mission. It will determine whether we achieve developed nation status and progress further.