PETALING JAYA: Deputy prime minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the respect for Malaysia’s multicultural and multireligious setting must be acknowledged despite changes in the political landscape after the coming elections in six states.
“The state elections will illustrate a change in the political landscape,” said Zahid. “Despite that, the needs of the people must be prioritised and the interests of various religions should be respected,” he said at a breaking of fast event in Serkam, Melaka.
Zahid, who is Umno president and chairman of Barisan Nasional, said there are countries in the world where there was tension because of differences over religions.
“However, in Malaysia the differences among the many religions are respected and (religious) harmony is given priority,” he said.
Zahid’s remarks on religious harmony come amid a recent controversy over whether Muslims may visit houses of worship to learn about other faiths or to attend events such as weddings and funerals.
State assembly elections are to be held in Kedah, Penang, Selangor, Negeri Sembilan, Kelantan and Terengganu within months.
Yesterday, Zahid said winnability should be the key factor in determining the direction of the seat negotiations between Pakatan Harapan and Barisan Nasional.
He further added the importance of compatibility between leaders of the two coalitions and the chemistry between the coalitions must be filtered down to the grassroots level.