Find common ground, not differences, Ahmad Zahid tells Umno delegates

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional parties and leaders should find common ground instead of harping on differences between each other, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

The Umno president said it was crucial for Barisan parties to find common ground to rise from its dismal electoral outings in GE14 and GE15.

"To rise, we must correct our weaknesses. The issue is that in GE14 and GE15, we were finding differences between us.

ALSO READ: Umno chief Zahid addresses party leaders, delegates ahead of June 9 general assembly

"This time around, we must find a common ground and move forward," Ahmad Zahid said to reporters when met after officiating an awards ceremony involving Wanita Umno on Wednesday (June 7) at the World Trade Centre KL.

According to Ahmad Zahid, he told delegates that Barisan votes in GE15 stood at merely 23% of the entire electorate and it only garnered about 11% of the 222 seats.

"That is two times we lost the general election," he added.

He also noted criticism of the Barisan and Pakatan Harapan cooperation, which was mostly centred on cooperating with DAP.

"The fact is that in Barisan we have MCA and MIC. In Pakatan, DAP is there.

"So we should find a common ground between Barisan and Pakatan," said Ahmad Zahid.

He also said that Umno delegates have to admit that Barisan is no longer dominant.

"Therefore in the six state elections, we must work hard and prove that any seats given to Barisan will be won.

"It is meaningless if we feel strong, but we are not successful in reality," said Ahmad Zahid.

He said that Pakatan has been respectful towards agendas pertaining to Islam and the Malay Rulers.

"In Umno's constitution, these are the matters that must be defended and they (Pakatan) agreed to it. So, I don't see an issue here," said Ahmad Zahid.

Ahmad Zahid also said PAS were "married" to DAP in the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat coalition for many years.

"When we did it (cooperating with Pakatan), we apparently pawned the Malays and Islam.

"So, they (PAS) should ask themselves because PAS had politically married several parties in the past, including DAP," he said.

Ahmad Zahid delivered his presidential address to 6,341 delegates behind closed doors at Dewan Merdeka at WTCKL.

The Umno general assembly this year comes just ahead of elections in six states.

Earlier, Ahmad Zahid launched Umno's Tabung Pendidikan Melayu to raise some RM10mil a year.

He was the first to contribute to the fund by donating RM5,000 while his deputy Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan contributed RM3,000.

He later presented awards to outstanding social activists Datuk Dr Ras Adiba Mohd Radzi (welfare), Datin Norlina Alawi (health), Datin Nur Sharmila Shahreen (security) at a separate Majlis Anugerah Squad Sayang 3K event.

Umno deputy president Mohamad will open the assembly for the party's Women, Youth and Puteri wings at 8pm on Wednesday (June 7).

The main Umno general assembly will be held on Saturday (June 10).

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