Alhamdulillah, praise be to Allah SWT for with His blessings and guidance we are able to meet here today to fulfill our obligations towards our party, our community, our nation and our religion.
I would like to record my felicitations to the leadership and members of the WANITA, YOUTH and Puteri UMNO movements who successfully carried out their constitutional obligations by conducting meetings at the divisional and branch level, thus enabling this annual assembly to be held. Since the assembly last year, the WANITA, YOUTH and Puteri movements have been active in carrying out a multitude of activities throughout the country. Through your work and the activities that you have held, you have brought the spirit of UMNO closer to the hearts of the people, to the extent that UMNO's presence is felt everywhere and the people's support towards the party continues to grow.
WANITA UMNO has intensified its "Ketua 10" program. This invaluable program has allowed the movement to act as the party's eyes and ears as it continuously monitors political sentiments and trends at the grassroots level. WANITA members are on the frontlines, meeting voters through door- to-door house visits, listening to the people's voice and explaining government policies, thus countering the disinformation spread by the opposition. The party is eternally grateful to the movement's unwavering efforts and determination at the grassroots level and it has proven to be an effective link to earn UMNO the affections of the people. I call upon WANITA UMNO to intensify their efforts so that the party leadership will continue to get information that is comprehensive and up to date. I would like to go on record and express my appreciation and congratulations to Dato' Seri Rafidah Aziz, the leadership of the movement and to members of WANITA UMNO.
UMNO YOUTH have shown their prowess by spearheading the peace Malaysia coalition. A total of 1,500 societies and organisations collaborated and supported peace Malaysia, which saw the collection of 2.5 million signatures, raised more than rm1.8 million for a peace fund, and culminated in the gathering of more than 200,000 people at the peace rally held at Bukit Jalil. UMNO YOUTH's ability to mobilize the people to reject war, hegemony and unilateralism received overwhelming support from all segments of Malaysian society, especially amongst the YOUTH. This exercise demonstrated the capability of UMNO YOUTH in mobilising the sentiments of the majority of Malaysians in upholding values and principles, and in rejecting imperialism. To Dato' Hishammuddin, the executive committee and members of UMNO YOUTH, I express my gratitude and congratulations.
The Puteri movement continues grow and now has become a meaningful entity in the party. Although Puteri held its first ever branch and divisional meetings this year, the manner in which it was held reflected maturity and a commitment to the party spirit. Members of Puteri will, for the first time, attend this assembly as delegates. There have been attempts by the opposition to ridicule members of Puteri due to their gender and young age, to the extent that an elderly man outraged the modesty of Puteri members at the recent by-election in Anak Bukit. But Puteri's spirit has not waned and I believe Puteri will grow stronger. Puteri UMNO is a symbol of the emancipation of young, dynamic and progressive women that UMNO is fighting for in a country that prioritises development and does not discriminate in its employment opportunities. The English-on-wheels program, which I launched in Marang, is an example of Puteri's commitment in helping to improve the academic attainment of students, especially in the rural areas. I express my appreciation and extend my congratulations to Azalina, the movement's executive committee and Puteri members for their sterling achievement and success. These examples that I have cited are just a glimpse of the multitude of activities carried out by members of all three movements. These activities are our life blood, flowsing through the veins of the party, pulsating our collective hearts, allowing UMNO to remain fresh and strong. You are the pillars of the party, full of spirit and always in the forefront; ever ready to sacrifice, to serve. Fast to act but wise in your actions; respected by friends but feared by your foes.
Ladies and gentlemen, Six months have passed in 2003. The first half of the year has been filled with a series of tragic events that have caused untold human tragedy and suffering. The assault that destroyed a culture and civilization in Iraq, suicide attacks in Saudi Arabia and Morocco, the earthquake in Algeria, the SARS epidemic that swept the world, conflict in Aceh, and a dangerous polemic directed by the united states towards Syria and Iran. Each of these events has increased political uncertainty, further depressing an already gloomy global economy. The Palestinian problem has not been satisfactorily resolved, the rebuilding process in Afghanistan is not reassuring, and there are serious doubts regarding post-war developments in Iraq and autocratic warnings by the united states against any country that differs with it; all these produce even more question marks and fears.
Small nations, particularly Muslim states, are under the greatest pressure by a world order that is being created by the united states administration. A world order that is dominated by one hyper power. A power that is actively enhancing its military might, with a view to inculcating its influence around the world. A power that willingly ignores international laws and marginalises the United Nations to achieve its goals and objectives.
Consequently, the law of the jungle reigns supreme in the international arena. The strong can do anything at all, including tampering with intelligence reports and taking military action against other sovereign nations without any sound justification. Pre-emptive strikes are allowed on countries that are deemed to be a threat to their interests, even though in reality, these countries lack the capacity to pose any danger. Nations that protest, hold differing views or withhold support are labeled enemies. Countries that conspire and cooperate are rewarded with financial gain and military assistance.
These injustices are becoming more apparent and result in the birth and growth of groups that seek to exact retribution through violent means. People who feel downtroddened, victimised and unable to receive justice will choose their own lawless response. Reaction against the inequities that are occurring in the middle east are now no longer confined to that area. The interests of the United States and its allies around the world have thus become targets. As a result, more lives are lost, more property is destroyed, world peace is increasingly compromised and the global economy is disrupted. These cruel acts multiply human suffering, especially among the aged, women and children. Ultimately, the misery that much of humanity faces is caused by the arrogance and conceit of those who hold power, recalling the accounts in the Holy Quran of the cruelty of King Namrud and the Pharoahs.
Today, many countries face a dilemma in balancing the threats and demands of a foreign power and the political pressures brought to bear by groups that seek to inflame the sentiments of the people. In facing the threat of neo- colonialism, disunity will profit any external parties that wish to sow discord. Thus, internal strength, mental fortitude and the resilience of the people are the most important defences of a nation. An unshakeable spirit that will not allow the country to be conquered and its people to be ravaged must be cultivated. The character that was once displayed by the people of Vietnam in their resistance against foreign intervention during the 1960s and 1970s was strong enough to defeat an army employing superior weaponry. However, it should be remembered that Vietnam's successes were recorded in an era when the world was bipolar, where the Soviet Union acted as a balancing force. In a unipolar world, the strength of character needed to repel foreign intervention must be increased manifold.
The current global environment requires each of us to be constantly vigilant and ever ready to safeguard our independence and to ensure the dignity of our people is not pawned away. The people must necessarily be united, possessing one spirit and wielding one voice when facing the world. This is the biggest challenge that confronts WANITA, Pemuda and Puteri. Building a line of defence for the Malays and Malaysia; strengthening resilience and the willingness to serve; being strong of mind and body; standing steadfast and resolute in the face of adversity; preserving independence of the soul and the heart. I call on you to adopt these qualities as the pillars of your struggle.
Ladies and gentlemen, In the midst of these challenging times, we are indeed thankful that we remain in a peaceful nation, a prosperous nation, and a nation where the majority of its citizens give priority to unity. The nation's leadership continues to work for the people's wellbeing. We are thankful that the nation has a leadership that is rational and responsible - a leadership that always priotises the interests of its people. All its thinking and efforts are aimed at alleviating the people's hardship in facing any political turbulence and economic gloom. Pragmatic solutions, that are relevant to the current realities, are introduced and implemented.
As the world faces political uncertainties that result in an increasingly bleak economic climate, the wellbeing of Malaysians remains well managed and under control. The supply of food and basic social services such as education, health, transport and communication, water and electricity, as well as national security and public order - none of these have been adversely affected. Festivals are celebrated in an environment of merriment and a spirit of enhancing ties between the communities. The rate of inflation remains low. An economic stimulus package has been introduced. At a time when some countries have to implement wage cuts, civil servants in this country are given a bonus.
Certainly, we should be thankful for Allah's bounty. Thankful for god's blessings, for wealth and for good fortune, for his mercy - these are all gifts from Allah SWT. Thankful that our people are happy and lead peaceful, secure and prosperous lives. Thankful that our nation still has its sovereignity - we are independent politically, independent in determining our economic direction, independent in our way of thinking, and independent in expressing our stand. Thankful that we have been blessed with the leadership of a statesman that has always considered above everything the fate of his people and the interests of the nation; Yang Amat Berhormat Dato' Seri Dr. Mahathir bin Mohamad has toiled and continues to toil for the party, for the Malays, for the nation and for Islam. He continues to speak out, to uphold justice, and to fight for the truth.
To the Muslims of this country, this thankfulness should be exhibited in the performance of additional good deeds and in distancing yourselves from evil and sin. To all Malaysians, this thankfulness should be reflected in your display of strong allegiance and loyalty to the nation. To the civil servants, this thankfulness should be presented in the determination to improve the provision of quality and people- friendly services to our citizens. To the private sector, this thankfulness should be demonstrated in improving your competitiveness and productivity. To the students and undergraduates, this thankfulness should be shown by excelling in your studies. To the younger generation, this thankfulness should be displayed through the practice of noble values and a responsibility to yourselves and your families. Let us all resolve to prove our gratitude and thankfulness to Allah, in the hope that his favours and mercy will continue to be showered on us.
The seventh verse of Surah Ibrahim is a reminder to us all:
Translation: "and remember! Your lord caused to be declared (publicly): "if ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude, truly my punishment is terrible indeed"
UMNO : challenges and tribulations
Ladies and gentlemen, Five leaders have led UMNO since its inception 57 years ago. Each leader, during his time in power, sacrificed and contributed much to the party, community, nation and religion. Each leader stamped his own mark of success. The late Dato' Onn Jaafar United the Malays and United, the Malays stymied the plan to introduce the Malayan Union. The late Tunku Abdul Rahman fought for and achieved our nation's independence. The late Tun Abdul Razak Hussein gave meaning to our independence with his five-year plans that saw the implementation of many development programs; and through his New Economic Policy (NEP), he strived for an equitable distribution of wealth amongst the various ethnic communities as a foundation for political stability. The late Tun Hussein Onn strengthened the institutional credibility of the administration by emphasizing the supremacy of the rule of law. Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad gave true meaning to our independence by giving self- confidence and esteem to the Malays and Malaysians by making them a people and a nation respected by the rest of the world.
The wisdom of these Malay leaders has made UMNO a party that is respected, credible and widely accepted in the political and democratic system of the country. In fulfilling its agenda to champion the plight of the Malays, UMNO's pragmatic approach has instilled confidence amongst the other races who continue to feel secure as long as UMNO leads the country. When the courts ruled UMNO an unlawful organization in 1988, it was not only the Malays but also non-Malay based political parties that were filled with anxiety and apprehension. UMNO's struggle strikes a balance between its responsibilities in the world we live in and in the afterworld. UMNO has proven that it is fair and just to all Malaysians irrespective of race. UMNO has never been extremist; neither has it been narrow and small-minded in its interpretation of policies for the community, for the citizens, religion or in the international arena.
The Prime Minister's elevation as chairman of the Non- Aligned Movement (NAM) is a symbol of respect for Malaysians, for the country, and for UMNO too. UMNO is exceptionally proud because Dr Mahathir is a son of UMNO. He bloomed and blossomed in the UMNO garden. It was in UMNO that he displayed his potential; and it was in UMNO that he honed his leadership skills, learned and tasted the bitterness of drawbacks, and the sweetness of success; it was in UMNO that he braved the storms of trial and tribulation; where he sharpened his understanding of the struggle; where he pressed forward step by step, where he rose, fell and rose again to eventually become UMNO President, Prime Minister, an outstanding and exceptional statesman, and now, a leader of international standing.
The confidence and support that UMNO enjoys did not come easy. There was no magic lamp that was rubbed that could, in the blink of an eye, give us the support we enjoy today. At the same time the support we enjoy and the confidence placed in us will erode only through our own actions, our own deeds, and our own pronouncements that do not get the blessings of the people. Beware! If UMNO members get too comfortable, the confidence and support will not last for eternity.
Therefore, while we pride ourselves for being members of a political party with a glorious reputation, I feel the need to share with you the words chalked by my late father, Haji Ahmad Badawi, on the board in the meeting room of our home in Kepala Batas. He wrote: "every society will face three moments in time: 1. Happiness and disappointment; 2. Turmoil and upheavals; 3. Downfall and ruin."
As we look into the future of UMNO and the challenges it faces on the long road towards realizing its struggle, I ask myself and I put the same question to you to ponder: at which stage is UMNO today and are we able to ensure that UMNO remains at the level of `happiness without disappointment'?
I would like to call to mind our president, Dato' Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad's advice, in his policy address at the UMNO general assembly in 2002. He reminded the Malays that politics can bring us rank, status and position and lucrative gains. But, he rationalized, it is unity that was the secret recipe that became an effective weapon for the Malays, who had been colonialised for more than 450 years, to negotiate and defeat the British who were a world power that just succeeded in winning the second world war.
I fully understand his concerns. Today, Malays do not prioritise unity. Anything can divide the Malays. Jostling for position in the party; unfounded accusations against the leadership; disappointment of not receiving business opportunities; incitement by opposition parties; a false sense of security - - all these can be divisive and do come between Malays. Many members are not only disposed towards being divided, but are even willing to collaborate with our enemies to thwart the Malay nationalist struggle.
I, too, worry that success has spoilt and undermined the mindset of the Malays to the extent that they now think they are secure and can do just about anything they want. Today, their nationalist spirit has flagged and their capacity to meet challenges have declined. Political power is diminishing because of disunity. The Malays seek security through political power, but because of disunity, Malay political power is not as resilient as before. If we do not face this issue uncompromisingly, and, if we are not brave enough in putting a stop to it, one day, the power that UMNO has and with it the power that Malays benefit from, will be forever gone.
Come to your senses! If UMNO loses its political power, the Malay community will not have a viable alternative to replace UMNO. UMNO has experience and maturity in leading a government that has the confidence of its citizens of different races and religions, different cultures and different tongues. Implementing an effective formula for power-sharing is not something that we can gamble with by experimenting. The country will face grave danger if it is turned into a political laboratory to experiment with a new political formula. Such an acid test may result in an explosion, which, if wrongly handled, can lead to destruction. Any turmoil on our soil will only open the doors and provide justification for foreign intervention; foreign powers are just waiting to intervene - like vultures waiting to ravage a carcass - to seize the opportunity to interfere in the affairs of other sovereign nations.
The Malays are not yet resilient enough. They are small in numbers. They are still not in the forefront; they are not even on par with other races in achievements in knowledge, skills, commerce, economy and other fields. Do not let your guard down just because the Malays dominate the government and the civil service. Do not for a moment think that Malay political power will last forever. UMNO's obligation, its leadership's obligation and every single member's obligation is to provide guidance and set an example to all Malays to ensure that they will return to the true struggle for the country, community and religion; the struggle that has the blessings of the almighty. UMNO members must also be courageous enough to eliminate the tendencies that may have led the people to be contemptuous of UMNO.
UMNO was formed to unite the Malays and to safeguard and champion their interests. UMNO is not a racetrack for its members to scurry in pursuit of power so much so that rank and position becomes the embodiment of their struggle. Jostling for power has resulted in the ends justifying the means and, time and again, caused an erosion of values, turning friends into foes. Party unity is forsaken and Malay unity allowed to dilapidate in the pursuit of position. Supporting an individual is given precedence over support for the party. Individual survival is given priority over the community's survival. Contests are seen as an opportunity to obtain personal benefit. In the quest for material rewards, they are willing to blemish the party leadership. The privilege of voting is valued in monetary terms. Remember, the candidate who is willing to pay for votes has also been funded by others. A candidate who tries to influence delegates to sell their soul has himself already sold his soul and dignity.
UMNO's survival depends on the intentions and principles of its members. The spirit of fighting for the Malay struggle should not be confined to as long as one has position and gets rewards. The moment one loses, the moment there are no returns, the party leadership is threatened, smeared, attacked from the front and stabbed from the back, and the candidate chosen to replace him is shunned and undermined.
For how long does UMNO want to tolerate having members with such shallow attitudes? For how long must the UMNO leadership bow to the threats of these small-minded party members? It is a greater burden to have to confront such narrow and small-minded party members than it is to fight opposition parties; these disgruntled party members will use whatever means possible to retain their position even though they keep being rejected by the people in the general elections. These members are a burden to us when we go into the general elections. These members cause us to lose seats to the opposition. These members are today at that phase of "disappointment" that can lead the party to "turmoil and upheavals" and if we do not face up to their threat with courage and strength, the party will endure "downfall and ruin".
Decline and downfall
Ladies and gentlemen, Every occasion has been ordained by Allah as a lesson and as a reminder for the community of the faithful. Failure to learn from history may mean repeating past mistakes. Many incidents of "downfall and ruin" follows from a time of "turmoil and upheaval". These incidents often occur despite great successes because of the inability and failure to manage that success. Success often leads to delusion and complacency. Then base desires overtake reason and repeated mistakes are committed. From the tale of Mat Jenin to the downfall of corporate empires and the demise of political empires, failure has been the result of not being able to manage success. If poverty can lead to disbelief in god, success and riches, too, if not accompanied by faith that is steadfast can bring about failure and destruction.
The mighty Roman Empire that once stretched from Scotland to the Sahara fell to the franks because of increasing disunity in the empire. This happened despite the fact that the franks were more primitive and possessed inferior military capabilities. The Romans became too dependent on slave labour and abstained from work that they believed to be beneath them. As a result they were not able to develop an industrious population. Later emperors also made the mistake of violating the principle of freedom of worship by forcing their citizens to convert to Christianity. Eventually, the majestic Roman Empire was to fall because the rulers failed to understand the structural weaknesses inherent in the empire and the root causes of decay.
Islamic empires once stretched from the Indian subcontinent to the Atlantic Ocean, and were among the largest empires in the history of civilisations. They became geopolitical forces with disciplined and powerful military capabilities, and also gave birth to an intellectually rich civilisation buttressed by some of the greatest thinkers in history. Islam's golden age was not to last long, and decline and destruction set in. The failure of the Islamic empires is instructive from the aspect of leadership and unity - political infighting, factional rivalries, the unbridled desire for power and the pursuit of individual dynasties are all bitter mistakes that must not be repeated. The Islamic empires of the golden age would have done well to learn from the mistakes of Muslims in the war of Uhud. The Muslim army's greed for loot and riches undermined their faith and focus resulting in their early advances amounting to no more than a pyrrhic victory.
Malays can also look back to a golden age in history during the Malay sultanate of Melaka. During the height of Melaka's glory, it was a centre of political power, maritime influence and an entrepot for trade in the Malay world. Melaka served as a citadel of learning, a metropolitan city of languages and culture that was a meeting point for east and west. During these years 80 languages and dialects were heard spoken in Melaka. Melaka was also where Islam's propagation began, spreading into the entire region. All of these achievements were reduced to memories when Melaka fell to imperial powers. The task of the colonisers was made easier because of the disunity among local leaders. Jealousy and envy fed slander and lies; incitement resulted in injustice; all culminating in strife and disunity. The historian Zurinah Hassan's poem accurately portrayed that it was not Hang Jebat that Hang Tuah opposed, rather it was betrayal and the pursuit of power. It was not the Sultan that Tuah defended, rather it was the institution of government. Because without government, there is no country - no nation. And without a nation, a community is meaningless and powerless. This episode resulted in the Taming Sari Keris losing its supernatural power. The taming sari, Melaka's symbol of strength, was used to fight one another. Even Hang Tuah was not able to save Melaka. Remember, for the Malays, the Taming Sari Keris is a symbol of power manifested today in the government. Hang Tuah, a Malay warrior-hero, today is represented by UMNO. An UMNO that is hurt by lies and slander, just as Tuah was undermined, will surely lose its credibility and lose its place in government.
Ladies and gentlemen, After the end of the second world war, we witnessed the rise of political parties around the world agitating for independence. These parties received rousing support from their people to delver their country freedom from colonial powers. The congress party played a leading role in securing India's independence and gave the world eminent statesmen like Mahatma Gandhi and Jawaharlal Nehru. Congress received strong support and was able to represent and reach out to all Indians regardless of religion, ethnicity and caste. However, success led to their leaders forgetting the roots of their struggle to uplift the lives of Indians, especially the poor and the lower castes. Corruption became rampant and the unequal distribution of income and wealth resulted in waning influence of congress eventually leading to their first defeat in 1977 after 38 years in power.
The Kuomintang nationalist party (KMT) governed Taiwan since 1949. The KMT was responsible for transforming Taiwan from a poor agrarian country, into one of Asia's most successful economies that is competing with the developed world. At its height, the KMT was reported to have assets worth us 6 billion. The KMT fell during the march 2000 presidential elections after 51 years in power partly due to the culture of buying votes, gangsterism, corruption scandals and disunity in the party.
The liberal democratic party of Japan (LDP) has been the dominant party in modern Japan. Under the LDP, Japan emerged as the second most powerful economy in the world, leading the way in innovation and technological advancement. Corruption scandals that began in the 1970s and 1980s led to the LDP's first loss of parliamentary majority in 1993, after 38 years of dominance. Apart from corruption, the LDP was seen as a party that was long controlled by kingmakers and power brokers. To its fortune, although not as commanding as in the past, the LDP has regained power due to the lack of opposition presented by other parties.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Such is the fate that has befallen certain governments and political parties, time and time again. Intense jealousy and unhealthy jockeying for positions has led to false accusations, resulted in disintegration, and weakened our unity. Failure to remember one's true responsibilities, the abuse of power, corrupt practices and the pursuit of personal gain, are some of the factors that has led to the loss of power and the loss of support. Each incident is caused by man's forgetfulness of Allah's message. Verse 53 of Surah Al Anfaal should be a lesson for us all:ï¿½
Translation: "because Allah will never change the grace which he hath bestowed on a people until they change what is in their (own) souls: and verily Allah is who heareth and knoweth (all things)"
So exalted is Allah's justice, that his grace will remain so long as a people are loyal and thankful, but should they transgress then they shall suffer a heavy penalty indeed in this world and in the hereafter. Therefore, be thankful for the blessings granted by Allah SWT to UMNO, such that it still retains power. Be thankful that with Allah's protection, UMNO is safe and secure under a leadership that will not condone evil and sin. UMNO continues to prevail because the majority of its members have pure intentions, possess noble values, and are sincere in pursuing a struggle that is righteous. The majority of UMNO members think rationally and place the interests of the party above all else. The majority of UMNO members are virtuous and accept Allah's divine determination. Remember that Allah's decisions are ever fair and just for the benefit of the ummah. And that after using one's intelligence and exerting all effort; after endeavouring and utilising all of one's abilities; after thinking, administering and choosing wisely - we must, with a calm heart, leave our fate only to Allah. For one's responsibility is to try his or her best an then leave it to the will of Allah, as encapsulated in verse 68 of Surah Al-Qasas:
translation: "thy lord does create and choose as he pleases: no choice have they (in the matter): glory to Allah! And far is he above the partners they ascribe (to him)!"
That was the reminder that was intimated to me by my grandfather Abdullah Fahim (Allahyarham) while I was still at school, upon which I have relied as a guide and beacon throughout my life.
Ladies and gentlemen,
UMNO has implemented innumerable development programs and carried out its responsibility to fulfill the agenda of independence. UMNO should therefore not be rejected by the people - based on its many deeds and services, in upholding the role of Islam, in enhancing the nation's sovereignity and independence, and in uplifting the dignity of the Malays. We are strong and developed on the outside, externally. Now, let us resolve with sincerity and honesty, to fortify what is inside ourselves and to make our struggle for UMNO an article of faith that is blessed by Allah.
Today, we are inheriting success. We are inheriting a nation whose people are united. We are inheriting a nation whose political environment is stable. We are inheriting a country whose economy is prosperous. We are inheriting a country that is equipped with modern and sophisticated infrastructure. We are inheriting the largest and most powerful political party in the country. These are indeed the successes that we are inheriting.
These successes will not remain if we are too quickly satisfied and thereby become complacent and forgetful. It is our responsibility to preserve and to improve on our successes. For that, we must be able to look ahead with a broad vision to see everything with a global perspective. We must improve our mind's capacity. We must enhance our competitiveness to ensure that we can expand on our accomplishments. We must build our spiritual strength to defend our cultural and national identity against the challenges brought by globalisation. We should enhance our resilience to guard against influences that may divert our focus away from the foundation and aims of our struggle. We must strengthen unity among members of the party, among the Malays and among Malaysians. Believe me, that if our purpose and our belief in the struggle is pure and sincere, is clear and good, is virtuous and honourable, then we will certainly be able to manage the successes we are inheriting and build upon them.
I believe there are many UMNO members who do not hold any titles, who do not hold any positions, who do not have any special standing, who have never even set foot in this hall, let alone meet the prime minister, who possess the greatest loyalty to the party, and a pure and profound belief in our struggle. I believe that their virtuous intentions, their noble deeds, and their sincerity have enabled the angels to raise their prayers to the heavens to receive Allah's mercy, such that this nation is favoured, that UMNO is protected, and that the people are blessed.
Let us work together to preserve the purity of this party that we are inheriting from the contamination of man's forgetfulness and carelessness. Let us together ensure that the positions Allah has temporarily bestowed upon us are not abused to such an extent that they may delay our reckoning during the day of judgment and obstruct our journey along the righteous path.
therefore, never forget of Adam's nemesis. That, due to his arrogance and conceit, Satan transgressed Allah's will in refusing to kneel before the prophet Adam A.S.. Satan has since then borne an evil grudge against the Prophet Adam and his progeny. Satan has resolved to lead Adam's children astray and swore before Allah that he would always be at hand to trouble us. For it is Satan's vocation to bring chaos to all of Adam's children, other than those who are sincere and the mukhlisin, that is those who have been purified by Allah's grace. Verse 82 and 83 of Surah Sad
Translation: "(iblis) said: then by thy power, I will put them all in the wrong. Except thy servants amongst them, sincere and purified (by thy grace)."
So together, let us pray for Allah's protection so that we will always be guarded against the influence of the wretched Satan, who can easily lead us astray from the righteous struggle.
Ladies and gentlemen,
On 9 May 2003, as a guest at Utusan Melayu's poetry night held at the DBKL Hall, I was asked to recite a poem. I was asked to choose from any of the poems written by our famous writers. At that time, however, I was inspired to compose a few lines, if you can at all call what I wrote poetry. But those lines, for me, more accurately reflect my core and my principles. Tonight, I have chosen to read for the second time that poem I wrote, in the hope that I may share with you some of my principles in seeking "The Peace Within". If you find it to your liking, make this a part of your life:
"I Seek The Peace Within"
I seek not riches untold
To live a life of luxury;
I seek not millions
To live a life of plenty;
I seek not friends so many
To live a life of profligacy;
I seek he who is Al-Ghazali
I seek he who is Al-Shafie
To unravel the secrets in the holy book
To unravel the secrets in the ways of the prophet
I live only for him, my lord
He is my companion
He is my guardian
I live a life full of meaning
Immersed in the peace within
Ladies and gentlemen,
Let us now pray for Allah's protection and blessings, by reciting the Umul Kitab, Al-Fatihah.
With grace of the kalimah "Bismillah", I hereby open the annual general assembly of the WANITA, YOUTH and Puteri UMNO movements for the year 2003.