KUALA LUMPUR, June 1 — Umno president Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi has today said that the country needs to return to its old ways and bring back what he called as "Original Malaysia", claiming that the so-called "New Malaysia" that was born from Barisan Nasional's (BN) fall in 2018 has failed.
He said the ensuing political turmoil, defections by MPs, economic instability and lack of leadership have caused Malaysia's economy to digress in the past four years since Pakatan Harapan (PH) took over.
"The notion that the 'New Malaysia' espoused good governance is merely talk. The mandate the public gave them was exploited and government institutions were manipulated even to the point of crippling the Parliament to stay in power,” Zahid said during his speech at BN’s 48th annual convention at World Trade Centre here.
"The 'Original Malaysia' is based on the formula our forefathers developed and it is empowered through the Federal Constitution, Rukunegara and various policies based on tolerance and loyalty towards a multiracial race."
"BN wants to return Malaysia to those days and improve our weaknesses and ensure all institutions have good governance, transparent and free from corruption,” he added.
He claimed peace and stability have been threatened since PH's win, accusing the opposition of dismantling Malay-Muslim privileges and espousing equality among the ethnic groups.
Zahid claimed this had instead divided and angered BN supporters.
The "Malaysia Baharu" or "New Malaysia" slogan was adopted by the PH coalition after they won a historic general election in 2018 by beating BN. the only ruling coalition Malaysia ever had in 60 years.
PH's administration however collapsed after 22 months after its component Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia allied with Umno and PAS to form the Perikatan Nasional government.
Zahid spoke after prime minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob and received a warm welcome from the delegates, especially after he asked if the audience is ready for the next election.
This came even as Ismail Sabri was quoted yesterday saying that he is in no rush to call for a general election anytime soon, contrary to speculation that polls may be held before the year ends.
He told Nikkei Asia in an interview that rising costs in food and other living expenses were among the reasons to push back the elections, which only need to be called by September next year.