KUALA LUMPUR - Unlike Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said he was voted in as Umno president in an open and democratic manner.
"I was the first Umno president elected under a new party constitution that is more open and more democratic," Najib, who is Prime Minister and Umno president, told a gathering of Umno veterans at the party headquarters here on Monday.
He pointed out that the previous Umno presidential elections had a system of bonus votes and quotas.
"Previously, anyone who wanted to challenge the party presidency had to have nominations from 63 party divisions. That is how Tun Mahathir Mohamad could stay in power for 22 years," said Najib.
He said he too could remain in power for 22 years by amending the party constitution but chose not to do so because he wanted to be elected sincerely by his party members.
"I was elected democratically, so why am I being disturbed. If there are problems, let us correct them. We don't want to destroy the party," he said.
Najib urged Umno members to support him as he would do his best for the party.
"I will do my best for the party and the nation and I will do my duties in Cabinet and the party's Supreme Council. But I need your support or I will be unable to carry all of this out," he said.