While Umno respects Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad's advice, delegates must still be mindful of their manners when criticising leaders during the party's assembly, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said today.
The Umno vice-president said that although delegates were given freedom to speak their minds, they still need to adhere to a set of guidelines to avoid raising sensitive issues in the assembly which begins tomorrow.
"We respect Tun's opinion, but the guidelines for the speakers are not meant to restrict them, but to provide the ground rules to avoid sensitive issues.
|For others, they should and must mind their manners BUT for him or even the 'froggers' it's OK ...
Mind your manners when criticising leaders, Zahid tells Umno members
"They can give their opinions, they can have differences of opinions, but there are manners that should be followed," Zahid told a press conference at the Putra World Trade Centre today.
Dr Mahathir today urged Umno delegates to be critical of their leaders and speak their minds during the assembly.
The country's longest-serving prime minister said that without any criticism, Umno leaders would believe everything they did was correct, even if it was not.
Dr Mahathir wrote on his popular blog, chedet.cc, that he, as well as Umno's previous presidents, had been openly criticised in the past.
"Let me stress the importance of criticising leaders. Tunku, Tun Razak, Tun Hussein were not only criticised, but challenged. I was attacked and almost lost in the (Umno) election," wrote Dr Mahathir, referring to former Umno presidents Tunku Abdul Rahman, Tun Abdul Razak Hussein and Tun Hussein Onn.
In another development, Zahid reminded the people not to worry over Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak's promise to repeal the Sedition Act 1948.
He said that whether the Act will be repealed or not, four core issues described in the Federal Constitution will be preserved.
"National Harmony Act, which is meant to replace the Sedition Act, is part of the government transformation plan. The prime minister is committed to see this through.
"He also assured that some of the sensitive issues enshrined in the Sedition Act will be maintained, namely those related to Islam, the monarchy, special privileges and Bahasa Malaysia as the national language.
"Although the Sedition Act may be no more, the spirit that maintains harmony among all races in a pluralistic society, I am sure, will be retained." he said.
Najib, who first promised to repeal the Sedition Act in July 2012, faces pressure from Umno and supporters of the Act to retain it on grounds of protecting the position of the Malays, Islam and the royalty.
Critics of the colonial-era law, however, said that the Act defines sedition too broadly and requires little proof for seditious “tendencies”. – November 24, 2014.