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Avoid extremism, Abdullah says

KUALA LUMPUR, 26 March 2009: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today reminded Umno members not to adopt extremist racial and religious positions when safeguarding the position of Malay Malaysians and bumiputeras in the country.

“Umno must never practise discrimination to the extent that non-Malays view it as a racist party. The rights of every citizen must always be protected, guaranteed and respected, as provided by the constitution and encapsulated in the Rukun Negara. 

“The loyalty of every Malaysian citizen irrespective of race must always be appreciated in the spirit of power-sharing and friendship,” he said when delivering his last policy speech as Umno president at the 59th Umno general assembly at the Putra World Trade Centre.

In his speech themed “The Future and Survival of the Party”, Abdullah said Malaysians were conscious of the fact that a long time ago, they had already reached an agreement that they would sink or swim together.

“Let us concentrate on the commonalities that unite us, rather than the differences that can divide us,” he said.

The Umno president said he fully appreciated the role that Malaysian citizens had played in ensuring peace and progress for the nation.

He noted that since independence 52 years ago, the country has undergone numerous trials and the people have been united in facing them, enabling Malaysia to become a prosperous and successful nation.

Abdullah said the nation was facing the most alarming economic challenge since independence to overcome a deepening economic crisis.

Abdullah said the extraordinary uniqueness that had become the backbone of Umno’s true might was its ability to pioneer and foster meaningful cooperation between the races.

It began with the Umno-MCA partnership, followed by MIC, to form the Alliance that was later expanded into the Barisan Nasional, he said.

He said other attempts to foster inter-communal cooperation, such as efforts by the Independence of Malaya Party and Parti Negara ended in failure.

The Malaysian Convention Party did not succeed, and neither did the formation of a Socialist Front through the merger of the People’s Party and the Labour Party.

“Today, the Opposition pact is earnestly attempting to imitate Umno’s successful copyrighted formula for cooperation. Although they are still enjoying their honeymoon period, visible cracks are beginning to show in their union,” he added. — Bernama

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