This is by far the best local picture I have seen in years.
I am glad former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad has decided to put aside his differences with Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and promised to return to Umno.
I don't think any Malaysian, irrespective of his or her political affiliation, will deny that Dr Mahathir is a great Statesman. His wisdom and advice is sought after not only by leaders of the developed world but also those of the developed world like former Prime Minister of Britain Margaret Thatcher (now Baronness).
Umno needs the experience of Dr Mahathir and Abdullah. Both have seen Umno at its best and its worst.
Umno has no time to waste. Past and present Umno leaders must put their shoulders to the wheel and ensure that Barisan Nasional will be given overwhelming support by the rakyat in the 13th General Election which has to be held by 2013. Differences must be thrashed out within closed doors.
Past leaders must remain in the background. They must not be seen to be interfering with the functions of the Government. They must give in-coming Prime Minister Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Razak a free hand to run the Government.
Now that Dr Mahathir and Abdullah have agreed to help Umno to return to its past glory, I am confident that Barisan Nasional will once again become a force to be reckoned with.
I am confident that the Brisan Nasional led by Najib will be given a landslide victory in the next general election, similar to the one in 2004, hardly a year after Abdullah took office.
To begin with, I hope both Dr Mahathir and Abdullah will help BN campaign in the Batang Ai, Selambau and Bukit Gantang by-election on April 7.
A win in all the three elections will send a strong signal to Pakatan Rakyat that Umno has been reborn, and is now stronger than ever before.
My name is Mohd Ashraf Abdullah. I was born and raised in Tampin, Negeri Sembilan. I am a journalist at heart. I served the New Straits Times as a journalist for 17 years, beginning as a cadet reporter in 1988. I was trained to be a political writer. I served the NST in various capacities including as Staff Correspondent of the Kuantan Bureau and London Correspondent. I resigned as News Editor in 2004 to join Golden Hope Plantations Berhad as Deputy General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. Two years later I was made General Manager, Group Corporate Affairs. When Golden Hope and Kumpulan Guthrie Berhad were merged with Sime Darby Berhad in November 2007, I chose not to accept the offer of employment by the merged entity. I was a scholar of the British Government and possess a Masters Degree in International Studies and Diplomacy from the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London. I am also a Jefferson's Fellow of the East West Center in Honolulu, Hawaii.