Race and religion should not be a factor when it comes to forming a government, Umno Supreme Council member Johari Ghani said.
The newly-elected Titiwangsa MP said narrow-mindedness should not exist in a Malaysia that has been in existence for 59 years.
Johari said that Barisan Nasional (BN) has always celebrated diversity, even from the time it was known as the Alliance. Throughout its 61 years in power, the coalition has administered the country based on a multicultural and multi-religious platform, he added.
Diversity, which was also BN’s most prized asset, helped in the development of the country, resulting in Malaysia becoming one of the biggest economies in Asean, he said.
“We succeeded in achieving political stability because we respected the different races and worked together regardless of our background,” Johari said when met by reporters at the party’s headquarters in Kuala Lumpur.
Johari said he was saddened that race and religion were among the factors being considered in the forming of the next government, adding that such cards were being played purely for political interest.
The former second finance minister also said that he won the Titiwangsa seat on Nov 19 with the support of all races in the constituency.
Johari also pointed out that caretaker Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s administration had signed a pact with Pakatan Harapan that enabled him to govern for 14 months without any complication.
“Back then, there was no issue that DAP was part of Pakatan Harapan.”
He said BN believed in the concept of power sharing among races.
He added that when BN, PAS and the then Pakatan Rakyat (PR) could not obtain the majority in Selangor and Perak in the 2008 general election, the Islamic party decided to work with PR, which then had PKR and DAP.