Vintage leaders like Zahid are the very factor behind the burial of race-based parties that will usher in a future where humanism reigns supreme in the world, says JD Lovrenciear.
The belligerent and besieged Umno party that is currently facing a freeze of its banking accounts appears to be sending out sensitive and what may be deemed as anti-national messages.
In the run up to its party general meeting, the statements coming from several quarters claiming to be the saviours of Umno deserve examination by the new government, which is painstakingly championing the rule of law in an effort to build a new Malaysia beyond the divides of race and religion.
Zahid, for example, belted a veiled threat that seemed set to go against the victory clinched by Malaysians at the 2018 general election, still fresh in the minds of many.
Zahid was reported as claiming that “as long as I lead Umno, I will fight and will not let any party threaten or discriminate against Umno.”
“Under my leadership, Umno will rise as a Malay and bumiputera party which fights for the interests of the rakyat and the country,” he added.
Umno had six decades to fight for a single race while belting its contradictory slogan of “fight for the interests of (all) the rakyat”. And, to this day, after the very ethnic community that it claimed it stood up for has nearly banished Umno into the backwaters, party leaders still keep spinning the same broken record.
Indeed, vintage leaders like Zahid are the very factor behind the burial of race-based parties that will usher in a future where humanism reigns supreme in the world. As our new government ploughs ahead to unite Malaysia, disturbing sentiments by leaders like Zahid must be stopped in their tracks so that divisive politics will not take root.
We cannot build a nation based on race or religion. That is an expired political mantra which if revived will render this land of 30m toxic. Perhaps the institutions in our now forward-moving Malaysia will study ways and means to haul up individuals who continue to undermine our future of a united citizenry that wants to thrive on humanistic values.