KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who once publicly raised former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s Indian roots, urged Umno today to lead in cross-cultural communication.
The Star Online reported the deputy prime minister and acting Umno deputy president as saying that Malaysia’s plural nature should be defended.
“Umno, as the backbone of Barisan Nasional (BN), has to be at the forefront of cross-cultural communication.
“When we start doing so, other component parties will follow. We have to understand the sentiments of every race in this country,” he was quoted telling Tapah Umno delegates at the launch of a division meeting.
He reportedly said he had written about cross-cultural communication in Malaysia for his Masters thesis and studied Mandarin, Chinese history and literature while doing his degree.
“It is important for us to communicate and understand other races,” he said.
The deputy prime minister said the ruling BN had decided on power sharing after Malaysia gained independence, compared to the British colonialists’ “divide and rule” strategy.
“We should not see this 'divide and rule' practice in this country again.
“That should not happen at all. Take Tapah for example, where the MP is from MIC and its assemblymen are from MCA and Umno. They work well together and there are no differences between them,” said Zahid.