New Straits Times (22 February 2006)
Malayan Union demonstration, tribute to Onn by Umno in Batu Pahat
By Jassmine Shadiqe
The historic day when Umno founder Dato Onn Jaafar led the opposition against the Malayan Union proposal will be re-enacted by 20,000 Umno members in Batu Pahat on Sunday.
On Feb 26, 1946, Onn led a rally to oppose the Malayan Union and the re-enactment of the event will take place at the same ground where Onn stood and led the opposition. The event will be the highlight of Umno’s 60th anniversary celebrations this year. Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi will be present.
Senator Dr Mohd Puad Zarkashi, who heads the committee planning the event, said the re-enactment would be a fitting tribute to Onn and his struggle to unite the Malays under Umno. He said the celebrations, based on the theme "Dato Onn: Founder of a National Race" would be a year-long affair with a host of programmes."Dato Onn’s struggle and leadership made Umno what it is today. That is why we have decided to hold activities for the whole year," he said.
Onn founded Umno on the steps of the Istana Besar here on May 11, 1946. The party has since grown to become the dominant political organisation in the Barisan Nasional coalition ruling Malaysia since Independence.
"The objective of the celebrations is to make young people understand about the struggle of the Malays for independence," Mohd Puad said.
The programme will include a musical performance on Onn’s fight for independence and pictorial exhibition of special moments in Umno’s history, at schools, colleges and institutes of higher learning.