KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 30 — Improving ties between Umno president Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak and PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang is seen to be an inspiration to grassroot members to cooperate in the national interest and that of the ummah.
In this regard, the 2016 Umno General Assembly is seen to be a platform to promote good ties at all levels.
Delegates and observers at the assembly hope to bring back to their respective states effective ideas and approaches to realise this aspiration.
An observer who is also a member of the Kampung Aman Umno branch in Jitra, Kedah, Mohd Fadzli Abdul Halim, 49, said the attitude of the leaders was important in developing ties between Umno and PAS members at all levels.
He said any split among the community especially in the rural areas must be resolved.
“In the 1980s there were undesired incidents among the community such as boycotting each other, praying under two different imam and the slaughter of animals by certain groups which was considered as 'non-halal' which was detrimental to the Malays,” he said.
A delegate who is also the Umno branch head of the Perumahan Wakaf Mek Zainab, Kota Baru, Zulkifli Abdul Ghani, 61, said the current assembly was crucial in thinking of bringing about unity among the Malays which were disunited currently.
“This is the platform for the delegates and Umno leaders to think of new ideas that can be implemented in the interest of the religion, race and nation,” he said.
He said that in his area, splits due to political ideology was not very significant but relations between the ummah must be further improved.
A delegate from the Labis Wanita Umno division, Rohani Tamrin, 59, said the grassroot members were ready to follow the footsteps of the leaders who placed importance on the interest of the people and nation.
She said the splits that occurred in the community all this while were due to the fact that leaders were promoting narrow politics and self-interest.
Meanwhile, the director of the Institute of Malaysian Political Studies, Universiti Utara Malaysia, Dr Kamarul Zaman Yusoff, said the splits among the Malays and Muslims as well as the current political challenges are driving both the political parties to be more positive in the interest of the ummah and country.
“Lately, many factors are seen to have contributed to the improving ties between Umno and PAS, and this shows that the process toward achieving more common ground is going on,” he said.
Kamarul Zaman said relations that were said to be improving between Umno and PAS were expected to continue in the interest of the ummah and country. — Bernama