KUALA LUMPUR — Datuk Seri Najib Razak said the criteria for Barisan Nasional’s (BN) “winnable candidates” are those who are accepted by the new generation – the decisive factor in the next general election.

The prime minister said BN leaders should also take advantage of new technology to deliver messages to the people, especially the younger generation who used virtual channels to get information on current developments both within or outside the country.

Najib, who is also BN chairman and Umno president, said BN leaders and prospective candidates, who actively used new technology and virtual channels, would be given bonus points.

“We collect these bonus points. We want ‘winnable candidates’ who are accepted by the new generation as they will be the decider in the election.

“I have my own blog, Facebook and Twitter. Most of the tweets are my own, and some people are suspicious. For what? Because I wanted to communicate from my heart to the people. I want to communicate directly to the people.

“Previously, we had to go down to the ground but today wherever we are, we can connect with the people. Even when I was performing the haj pilgrimage, I stayed connected with the people as I miss them.

“In this era, if we do not know how to ride the waves, we will be tossed by the waves and we will sink,” he said when launching the 1Malaysia Social Media Convention, here Sunday.

Hence, he said BN leaders had to make changes as they could feel the pulse of the people who had expressed their wish to see changes in the country.

Najib said the government had used the ‘top to bottom’ approach to bring changes to the country, especially through the Government Transformation Plan, the Economic Transformation Plan and the Political Transformation Plan.

“When they bear fruit, the country will emerge from a developing country to a high-income developed country, from a democratic nation to a progressive nation in the practice of democracy, more open and inclusive through the political transformation that we are striving for.

“This is the government’s reform agenda that we are pursuing today. All these hinge on public support. We cannot succeed if do not have the people’s support,” he said.