The prime minister says the polls will provide an opportunity for the people to decide on the fate of the nation

KUALA LUMPUR: The 14th general election, which must be held within the next nine months, will decide the fate of the nation, Prime Minister and BN chairman Najib Razak said today.

Najib, who is also Umno president, said the polls would be monumental in deciding the fate of the country.

Delivering a hard hitting speech at the opening of the 71st Umno general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre this morning, he said the election would provide an opportunity for Malaysians to decide on the future of the country.

This would be Umno’s last general assembly before the elections. The party is the backbone of the ruling BN.

Najib also warned delegates at the assembly of alleged threats to the future of the Malays, Islam and the Malay Rulers if Umno was defeated.

“Let it be known that we are at a decisive and monumental moment because we have in our hands a choice that will decide the fate of this nation,” the BN topman said.

“The 14th general election is not just another general election.

“This election places us at a monumental crossroads, because in our hands. we have a choice which will determine the fate of this nation.

“It is apparent that this is no game as the battle strategies will be dead serious and take no hostages.

“Firstly, are we willing to allow Islam to be belittled and insulted on this soil? Secondly, do we want to see the institution of Malay Rulers desecrated or even betrayed?” Najib asked.

The prime minister however did not provide any indication when he intends to dissolve parliament to pave way for the all important elections.

Najib said institutions like Mara, Federal Land Development Agency (Felda) and Tabung Haji could be sidelined should Umno falter at the polls.

Umno celebrates diversity

The prime minister also assured Malaysians that Umno looked into the interests of all races in the country.

He said that Umno was actually above all, as it has all this while celebrated the diversity in the country.

“We believe in harmony in order to live peacefully together, depending on each other, and complementing each other,” he said.

Reiterating that Umno was not racist, Najib said if the party was racist, it would not have been accepted for decades to lead a multi-racial coalition of parties representing various races.

“I repeat, Umno is not anti-Chinese.

“But it is clear that the Chinese and part of the Indian community have been dragged and trapped to become victims of the perception and lies of the Opposition,” he added.