Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani who is Umno supreme council member arrives to officiate the Kota Kinabalu Umno divisional delegates meeting. Pix by Edmund Samunting

KOTA KINABALU: Umno party members here were reminded that they need to have loyalty and patience in mind when carrying out the party’s struggles.

Second Finance Minister Datuk Johari Abdul Ghani who is Umno supreme council member said while the party has survived long because of its ability to produce leaders suited to their own times, these two characteristics are vital to ensure Umno remained strong.

“In politics, you cannot please all and this is where we face the sincerity in the struggle of each party member.

“Our grandparents possessed these two elements as they have fought for our independence knowing they will not be able to enjoy its fruits, but the ones who benefit are us the grandchildren,” he said when officiating the Kota Kinabalu Umno divisional delegates meeting here.

He said all past leaders like Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Hussein Onn and Tun Abdul Razak Hussein were the right leaders needed during their own respective eras and the same goes with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.

“Tun Mahathir Mohamad also faced his own challenges during 22 years of ruling,” he said.

“So the transition process of leadership is natural, leaders may change but the party remains if we continue to be loyal to Umno’s struggles,” he said, adding that one of the challenges now is in the form of Mahathir himself who switched side to Pakatan Harapan.

Giving example of patience, the Member of Parliament (MP) Titiwangsa said he had to wait after three general elections (GEs) before being selected as candidate in 2013, during which he remained loyal in supporting whoever candidate in the previous GEs.

“I have never left the struggle despite not being named as candidate (previously) and even become the election machinery director there to support the candidates,” he said.

In relation to that, he reminded why Barisan Nasional (BN) is the best option as they continued power sharing among component parties even though some of them did not perform well in the last election.

“Umno is considered as a big brother and we need to help the younger siblings (component parties). BN is the only coalition that takes into consideration its component parties’ interest,” he explained.

He gave comparison how the Philippines were just behind Japan 60 years ago but Malaysia has surpassed this nation in terms of development today, due to political stability which was lacking in the neighbouring country.

“So no matter what opposition said, Umno remained solid and Malaysia has progressed due to the stability we provide,” he stressed.

Johari said the party needed Sabah Umno’s support to continue being strong and assured that BN will never turn its back on Sabah people.

He noted how Sabah economy grew from 2.1 percent in 2011 to 6.1 percent in 2015, in a bid to ensure equal development nation-wide and inclusivity.

Johari also said the State is always given higher amount in projects in terms of road links, electricity and housing programmes.

Moving forward, he said the federal government would assist in upgrading the electricity supply here which is vital to attract investors, as well as ensuring a complete ecosystem for tourism in Sabah which include the possibility of airport expansion and allowing more hotels to come in.

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