KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional and Umno are going through a crucial "political experiment" by being part of the unity government, said Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan.
The Umno deputy president said this political cooperation was "unprecedented" and "extraordinary".
"Call it whatever you want, a 'new alignment, new coalition, new understanding' – what is clear is that this political direction is 'business unusual'," he said at the opening of the Umno Wanita, Youth and Puteri meetings on Wednesday (June 7) night.
Mohamad said this political understanding is based on unity and national interest.
"Over the past decades, Umno has been used with the political understanding 'to rule'. However, the current trend that we are going through at the moment is to 'unite and to govern'.
"We see the emergence of cooperative and unity politics. The politics of unity and consensus.
"My view is that Umno must explore this new path which is more progressive and takes a more modern and contemporary approach.
"We must work with our new partners with different perspectives for the sake of the country's development, peace and stability," he added.
He also assured the wings' members that while Umno needs to steer from narrow-minded politics, it remains steadfast in its struggle for the Malays and Islam.
"It is in our DNA. Just because our political path is different, we are accused of abandoning these causes. This will never happen," he said.
Umno, said Mohamad, would continue to fight for Islam and the Malays in a more moderate framework that appreciates and celebrates Malaysia's diversity.
"Put an end to all doubts on our stand on these issues," he said.
Describing the decline in Umno's influence among the Malays and the Malaysians in general as critical, Mohamad said all in the party might have indirectly contributed to this.
"Let us stop playing the blame game. Umno will not rise if we continue to be trapped in this.
"The fate and future of the party is our affairs. No one can change our fate except for us.
"This is the time for us to restart efforts to reign in support and not just criticise so much so there is no respect for the institution and for the leadership," he said.
Also present were vice presidents Datuk Seri Wan Rosdy Wan Ismail, Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani, wanita chief Datuk Seri Noraini Ahmad, youth chief Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh and puteri chief Datuk Nurul Amal Mohd Fauzi.
The Umno general assembly that began on Wednesday (June 7) will take place till Saturday (June 10).