PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak has vowed to continue leading Malaysia as long as he has the support of Umno and the rakyat.
"I will not retreat, InsyaAllah. We will march forward," he said in the latest post on his blog najibrazak.com.
The Umno president said he was heartened to see friends from Barisan Nasional component parties attend the Pekan Umno division meeting on Saturday (Sept 12).
"I am touched to see their presence and support. It reminded me of my start as a leader almost 40 years ago after my father passed away in January 1976," he added.
Najib's first venture into politics was when he ran for a by-election in March the same year, where he won unopposed.
"When the party told me to contest the seat, I was quite stunned. I wasn't even 23 yet, and I asked myself - could I shoulder this heavy responsibility?
"However, I resolved at that moment to continue my father's legacy and struggle as a Pekan born-and-bred leader," he added.
To Najib, the key difference in today's political landscape is the prevalence of social media.
"Back then, there was no weapon to backbite, slander or shame a leader. If efforts were made to topple someone, they only used poison pen letters, among other methods," he said.
Najib said social media is used to spread hate against a leader to the point where his good deeds seem to hold no meaning.
"This is the game now, and it so happens that it's going on during my leadership of Umno.
"If someone wants to destroy the party, of course they will target the leader. If the party loses faith in its leader, then it will collapse easily at any time," he added.
He spoke of conspiracies both within and outside Malaysia aimed at tearing down the organisation and its leader.
Najib said the country was peaceful and prone to success because it was led by "our sacred Umno party".
"I will not disappoint Umno members and the rakyat of Malaysia. Every leader faces challenges, and when you've entered the ring, don't leave it in the middle of the match.
"We will fight to the end, and I will shoulder my responsibility to the party and to the people," he added.