Diversity is Malaysia’s strength, don’t let it weaken us, says Tok Mat

MCA president Wee Ka Siong (second from left) and Mohamad Hasan (second from right) tossing the yee sang at the party’s CNY open house today.

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno acting president Mohamad Hasan today said Malaysia’s diversity is its strength and urged all races to mingle and stop being suspicious of each other.

Speaking at MCA’s Chinese New Year celebration, Mohamad said the current education system hadn’t allowed the youth to engage with each other as much as was desired.

“Lately, our school system has been too divided. They don’t want to mix much. We need to rid ourselves of these feelings (of being in doubt about each other) if we want to live in harmony,” he said at Wisma MCA.

Mohamad, who is popularly known as Tok Mat, also implored people not to make the country’s diversity “our weakness”.

The MCA Chinese New Year function today was a grand affair, with a lion dance and stage performances, attended by Umno leaders, MIC president SA Vigneswaran and the sole MIC MP M Saravanan.

Newly elected Cameron Highlands MP Ramli Mohd Noor, along with several Gerakan and PPP members, was also present.

MCA president and sole MCA MP Wee Ka Siong and other MCA members welcomed everyone to the function.

Pakatan Harapan leaders, who were extended an invitation by MCA, did not attend the open house.

Will field a candidate ‘acceptable’ to all

On the upcoming Semenyih state by-election, Mohamad said a candidate acceptable to all and not just the BN coalition would be given a chance.

“It is all about marketing. No point offering a candidate whose shelf life has expired or who carries baggage.”

Acting Umno president Mohamad Hasan.

Tok Mat said the candidate should complement and strengthen the party.

He said the name of the candidate would be announced soon.

The Semenyih seat fell vacant following the death of assemblyman Bakhtiar Mohd Nor on Jan 11. Bakhtiar, 57, died of a heart attack.

The nomination day for the by-election is on Feb 16 and voting takes place on March 2.

Mohamad also said that each of the component parties of BN had a responsibility to rejuvenate itself after the defeat in the last general election.

“BN is an old coalition. BN is moving forward but now we must make sure it does not decline,” he added.