MUAR: Umno had risen again after the crises it faced in 1988 and 1998 because its leaders and members prioritised the organisation over any particular individual.
Umno vice president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said that the party was revived and its members and leaders reconciled due to their act of putting the party above any personal interest.
"In 1988, I had a stake in it all as well. But how was Umno revived? It was not done by placing a person above everyone else.
"This is where it was important to place the organisation above everything else.
"The Umno members at that time prioritised the organisation and not the individual. They adhered to this when the party revived itself after suffering the split within its ranks.
"We are here today not because of our overzealousness for any particular leader, but it is due to our overzealousness for our party," said Zahid, when opening the Pagoh Umno division meeting at Kompleks Seri Pekembar here today.
Also present were Johor Umno Liaison Committee chief Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Pagoh Umno acting division chief Ismail Mohamed.
Zahid continued by pointing out that many leaders such as Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Razak and others from the youth and women's wings worked hard to rebuild the party after Umno was split and deregistered in the events that led to the 1988 constitutional crisis.
He said the party continued to be strong even when another crisis hit it a decade later with the sacking Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim as its party deputy president.
Zahid, who is also the Deputy Prime Minister, said such actions to uphold the party's struggles over personal interest has benefitted Umno's rank and file, and this practice of reconciliation has been apparent in the Pagoh Umno division, which was previously helmed by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who was a former deputy prime minister and Umno deputy president last year.
"The mature politics practiced by the Pagoh Umno division members and leaders should be emulated by party members and leaders nationwide," he said.
Zahid said that the division under Ismail was exemplary as they have successfully faced the challenges of moving forward despite the departure of Muhyiddin from the party.
Meanwhile, Khaled said Pagoh Umno has emerged stronger after the challenge it faced when its former division leader was sacked for going against the party's leadership.
"Pagoh is very peaceful now. The storm of challenges it faced in the past is now gone. Pagoh has returned to how it used to be as it stands united and strong.
"The division members are united in the party's struggle. They have returned to being loyal and sincere to move together with Umno to develop the people," said Khaled in his speech.
On a related matter, Khaled said it was important for Barisan Nasional to win two-third majority in the 14th General Election.
He said this was vital in order for the BN-led state and Federal government to continue its development agenda for the people.
"We have many big plans that need to be fulfilled. There must be a two-third (majority) victory by BN in Johor and the Federal government must also be formed with the similar majority.
"Without it, we will not be a strong and effective government as our power will be limited," said Khaled.
He said BN component parties needed to work together to fight the opposition as parties such as DAP were unable to look out for the welfare of the Malays.