KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 3 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today announced that the party will send a delegation to this Sunday’s Kongres Maruah Melayu (Malay Dignity Congress).
Despite criticism by Umno lawmakers over the Congress earlier last month, Zahid said that the party will attend out of respect as it is hosted by local universities and other non-governmental organisations (NGO).
“We have received an invitation for the party president and Umno supreme council members to attend the Malay Dignity Congress. Umno will send a delegation headed by the party’s secretary-general to attend,” he said referring to Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
Zahid, however, said he would not be attending due to a prior engagement related to Umno.
The Malay Dignity Congress is hosted by Universiti Malaya, Universiti Teknologi Mara, Universiti Perguruan Sultan Idris and Universiti Putra Malaysia.
On September 30, Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin questioned why public universities were organising the event, noting that they should be pro-Malaysian in general and focus on developing and expanding knowledge instead of championing Malays and their exclusive interests.
Mohamed Khaled had also suggested that the public universities are being manipulated by Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) politicians.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, who is also PPBM chairman, is touted as having been invited to speak at the event, while PAS had on October 1 confirmed the attendance of PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang following an invitation.