KUALA LUMPUR - Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has pledged that he will not allow the Malays to be sidelined and that Umno will continue to fight for their rights.
"I stand here before all of you not just as party president and Prime Minister, but also as one who will continue to be the voice in the fight for the struggles and legacy of the Malays and bumiputras.
"How can I bear to see my own people abandoned and destitute in their own land? I pledge my commitment to continue the fight and do the best for the race not only within the party but also in the Government," he said in his presidential address at the opening of the Umno general assembly.
Umno deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other party leaders were equally committed to the fight, said Najib.
"We are committed to delivering what has been promised during the launch of the bumiputra economic agenda and will meet every month to chart the way forward for the strengthening of the Malay economy."
For Umno to remain strong, Najib said, the party must go back to basics by instilling the spirit of solidarity among its members.
At the same time, members must not be apologetic in defending the party against detractors who accuse Umno of being irrelevant, he said.
Najib also said that reaching out to the younger generation must be a top priority for Umno.
"Starting from now, Umno will commit itself to opening its doors to young, new members," he said.