KUALA LUMPUR: Umno today reiterated its stance and commitment to defend the ruling Unity Government until the 16th General Election.

Its president, who is also Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said if there is any party trying to challenge the position of the Unity Government, Umno and all the component parties in the coalition will continue to ensure that the government will last until the end of the term.

“We should feel more confident about our presence in the current government and we must support the current government because all goods and harms have been taken into consideration. Alhamdulillah our presence in the Unity Government will also ensure our survival.

“Imagine if we fall into those factions, our history (Umno) has been erased. Now they are also saying that this government will be replaced next month or in August. So, Umno is standing firm, especially our Supreme Council and our partners in Barisan Nasional, that we will continue to defend the Unity Government for the sake of political stability in the country.”

Ahmad Zahid said this in his policy speech at the opening of Umno General Assembly 2023, which was also attended by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, Deputy Prime Minister cum Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) Chief Whip Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof, Warisan President Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, DAP secretary-general DAP Anthony Loke at the World Trade Centre here today.

Ahmad Zahid said the evolution of world politics has seen many countries now forming multi-party governments either in the name of a coalition government or a unity government.

Hence, he said the political parties that previously were at odds and could not see eye to eye with each other are now seen as trying to come together to form a government for the benefit of the people.

“In the past, we fought for what we believed, now we become friends for the sake of strength for Unity Government,” he said.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid also called on Umno members not to feel apologetic when voicing the issue of Muslim, Malay and Bumiputera because Umno has never marginalised the rights and interests of other races in the country.

In fact, he said efforts to empower and inculcate Islamic values remain on the agenda of the Unity Government ruling the country today.

“My hope is that the reciprocity (cooperation) formed will erase the suspicions among us. Let there be no more statements that can hurt our feelings.

“To our friends, please don’t tease or play with the feelings of the Malays, and to the Malays, let’s avoid saying or doing something that can raise concerns among our friends,” he added. - Bernama