Object of the Independence of Malaya Party (IMP) -- "To strive for the establishment of a Sovereign Independent State of Malaya aiming at the well-being and advancement of the People based on equality of opportunity and of political, social and economic rights and obligations."
Dato' Sir Onn Ja'afar, the founding father of UMNO, commanded much respect and affection from people in all walks of life. He wanted to open the doors of UMNO to whosoever wishes to be a member, irrespective of his racial origin, provided he accepts the basic policy of UMNO and accepts the charter of the party. When his proposal was rejected by the party, he left UMNO to form the IMP. Tunku Abdul Rahman Putra took over the party's leadership on April 1, 1951.
"Malaya is now on the road to democratic Government leading to self-government. It is therefore important that everyone, particularly the younger men and women of the country, should gain an understanding of the machinery of politics and of the principles and policy of political parties and of obtaining an understanding of national and local affairs of this country," Dato Onn said in Kuala Lumpur on Augsut 21, 1953.
He said, to talk of democracy is easy, to understand properly how democracy operates and how it can be made to work always for the public good entails knowledge.
"Those who take a practical interest in the way in which the country is governed are those who can most influence the government and the future of this country. The crosses on the ballot paper will determine what sort of government, whether local, State, Settlement or Federal, we shall have.
"As the peoples of the Federation become more and more politically conscious, the more will it be necessary for a national party such as the I.M.P. to define its attitude to matters of national and local interests and to spread the knowledge as well as to foster thought and effort in furtherance of the objects of the Party."
Unfortunately, Dato Onn's vision was way ahead and beyond the thinking of the population then, in fact, to a certain section of today's population. We are still thinking on racial and ethnic lines, we are still supporting racialist political parties and implementing policies based on ethnic interests. And we are celebrating our nation's 50th anniversary.