Learn from history, says Zahid

ISTANBUL: The Malaysian people should learn from history to avoid repeating previous mistakes that will only bring long-term losses to the country, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

He said there were many historical records that could serve as a lesson, especially on the fall of a government or an empire due to rift among leaders and the people.

"We can differ in opinions, but not to an extent that it could destroy the country," he said at a dinner with the Malaysian diaspora here last night.

The deputy prime minister is in Turkey since Thursday to head the Malaysian delegation at the Group of Eight Developing Islamic Countries (D-8) Summit Meeting being held here.

Ahmad Zahid said the government was determine to ensure Malaysia become a world renowned country in all fields through the 2050 National Transformation (TN50), a futuristic policy to map the country's direction for a 30-year period after 2020 mooted by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak.

"We want Malaysia to be among the 20 world's best countries by 2050," he said.

Also present were Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, Malaysian Ambassador to Turkey Datuk Abd Razak Abdul Wahab, Pahang Tourism and Culture Committee chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Sharkar Shamsudin, Deputy Inspector-General of Police Tan Sri Noor Rashid Ibrahim, as well as Foreign Ministry officers and Malaysian businessmen and students.

At the event, the deputy prime minister shared his experience on his visit to the Rohingya refugee camp in Kutupalong at Cox's Bazar, Bangladesh, early this week.

He said Malaysia and Turkey, under the leadership of Turkey President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, had agreed to channel humanitarian aid to the refugees, including through Malaysia's commitment to build a 50-bed field hospital at Cox's Bazaar to provide better healthcare for the refugees.

"President Erdogan himself has agreed to supply 20,000 tents, school facilities, as well as food supply, drinks and clothing for the Rohingya refugees," he said. — AFP