KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 30 — The upcoming Umno-PAS charter is not healthy for a multi-racial and religiously diverse country like Malaysia, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said.

Speaking to a press conference after the Pakatan Harapan (PH) Presidential Council meeting today, the prime minister claimed that the charter will seek to play the race card, which is dangerous for the country.

“They want to play up race and religious issues. This is not healthy for our nation, a country that is multi-racial. This creates enmity which has happened in other countries. 

“We should discuss or battle each other on policies and not stir up race relations and fire up ethnic and religious emotions,” said Dr Mahathir.

Malaysia’s two biggest Malay-based parties Umno and PAS will be signing a Unity and Understanding Charter during the Muslim Unity Gathering (Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah — HPU914) at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) on September 14.

In a joint press conference last week, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa and his PAS counterpart Datuk Takiyuddin Hassan said that the charter will be their agreement leading to the 15th general election.

They said this is an initiative from both parties to cooperate for better political harmony for the country.

Annuar said PAS and Umno believe that uniting the ummah is something that must be done, but it will not stop at party-level cooperation.

The charter will contain certain philosophies and agreement between both parties and after its signing ceremony on September 14 by both party presidents, a state-to-state movement led by the party presidents will follow.

Separately, touching on the call for the boycott of non-Bumiputera products by certain members of the Malay grassroots, Dr Mahathir said these are the call of those who are simple minded.

“Boycotts are the ineffective weapons. It’s useless to boycott and will only trigger anger. Don’t boycott anyone’s products — Bumiputera or no,” he said.