KUALA LUMPUR: The cooperation between Umno and PAS does not benefit only Malays and Muslims in the country, but all Malaysians, say the leaders of both parties.
Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic) said the charter, which was signed between the two biggest Malay political parties in the country, will benefit all Malaysians.
"The cooperation (permuafakatan) is one that is based on national cooperation, just like the Madinah Charter, which talks about both the relationship among Muslims, and between Muslims and non-Muslims.
"It is not just a Malay political move," he said in his speech before signing the Umno-PAS charter at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) here on Saturday (Sept 14).
He added that the cooperation between the two parties will assist both parties - and other parties within Barisan Nasional - in addressing the issues affecting Malaysia at the moment.
"The cooperation is the best formula towards creating a harmonious country for generations to come.
"There should not be a rift (between Malays and Muslims), as history has shown that quarrels only lead to destruction," he added.
He also thanked the other component parties in Barisan, especially MCA and MIC, for their loyalty to Barisan.
"These parties are our friends through thick and thin," he said.
Meanwhile, PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang said non-Malays and non-Muslims should not be worried as justice is guaranteed and their rights enshrined in the holy Quran and the Federal Constitution.
"The cause of concern today is the bravery among political parties and leaders showing that they dare to challenge the position of Islam, the special privileges of the Malays, bumiputra and the Rulers.
"This could cause a strain which can destroy the good relations that we have built," said Hadi in his speech.
PAS and Umno still have their doors opened to other races in the country's political landscape, said Hadi, adding that this was in line with Islam which accepted a multicultural society led by a Muslim.
Hadi also decried the concept of a "Malaysian Malaysia", saying that to abolish race was akin to "abolishing the sun and the moon".
"Islam also stresses on the concept of no coercion in religion and also on religious freedom for others.
"Therefore, the theory of Malaysian Malaysia with the excuse that other races were discriminated against, is wrong," he said.
Hadi also called for understanding among non-Muslims over the Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah, which has gathered thousands of PAS and Umno supporters under one roof.
"Don't be worried about the gathering today. Listen, understand and see first before making any statements," he said.