TUARAN, June 22 — The elements and characteristics of the diverse Malaysian people living in harmony must be instilled in a political organisation, even when there are differences of opinion regarding its struggle, said Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Citing Sabah as an example, the Deputy Prime Minister said the Land Below the Wind, with its diversity of ethnicities, religions, races and cultures, is a model of pluralism within society that should be emulated by political organisations.

“Therefore, we cannot be too extreme to the right or left, claiming that only our struggle is true without considering other elements. We must respect other religions too.

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“That is why I say we need unity; learn the cultivation of manners or morals to handle differences. Differences of opinion are permissible, but there are proper manners to address them,” he said when opening the Tuaran Umno division meeting at the Seri Sulaman Hall here today.

Also present were Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, who is also Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman, Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairman Datuk Christina Liew and Sabah Umno deputy chairman Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, who is also Tuaran Umno division chief.

Ahmad Zahid also expressed his appreciation for Hajiji’s presence, which he said reflects unity in the struggle and a clear stance, despite being from different political organisations.

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“This does not mean we are abandoning any friends. For me, the issue of enemies is your concern; your friends are also my friends. Therefore, our unity in the struggle, whether within a party or any organisation, must be clear,” he said.

He said cooperation between the federal and state governments is necessary for the benefit of the people, to overcome problems at the state level, including issues related to water, electricity, roads, job opportunities, tourism and education.

Describing Umno as a rational party, Ahmad Zahid committed the party to doing its best for the people of Sabah while also urging local leadership not to make hasty decisions and statements.

“The time has not yet come; we must be more rational. God willing, the important thing is not to victimise the people. Sabah must be developed, and political stability must be established in this land of Sabah,” he said. — Bernama