SHAH ALAM, April 2 — Strengthening the ‘core’ Malay race is only the first phase of the Umno-PAS coalition before other races are looked after, Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said today.
Asyraf Wajdi explained that during the first phase, the ‘core’ race must be seen as being united as one entity and its strength consolidated as the Umno-PAS coalition attempts to push the narrative of returning Malaysia to its original roots.
“This means that Islam is the official religion of the federation and its core race Malay Bumiputeras.
“However, we must understand that Malaysia is unique and multicultural.
“If the core race is strong, they will be able to construct a ‘giant tree’ to shelter everyone else comprising other races and religions under it,” he said during a discussion titled ‘PAS-Umno Combined, What Are The Political Demography Implications’ organised by Sinar Harian here.
Pointing out that the coalition did not want to send the wrong signal to the people, Asyraf Wajdi said the narrative being pushed was not ‘Malaysia Baharu’ but instead returning Malaysia to its original version when the Federal Constitution was drafted.
“That is why from the start, we have been saying that Umno-PAS cannot just harp on Malay and Islam issues as we need to move into second phase of the cooperation.
“For our second phase, we need to bring in MIC, MCA and other NGOs representing various ethnic groups because this is our core narrative,” he said.
He added that meant returning to the original Malaysia whereby if the people respected the foundations laid by the Constitution, the country itself will be harmonious and peaceful.
Asyraf Wajdi also questioned why issues pertaining to Malay and non-Malays had only resurfaced within the last ten months when Barisan Nasional ruled Malaysia for almost six decades based on the foundations that were laid in the Constitution.
“That is why we need to return Malaysia to that original form, the original Malaysian spirit of multiculturalism.
“Issues of pitting Malays against others have never crossed our minds,” he added.
Also present during the discussion were PKR Youth chief Akmal Nasrullah Mohd Nasir and Pas Youth vice-chief Ahmad Fadhli Shaari.