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Move from race, religion-based parties to multi-racial ones, says group – Free Malaysia Today

PETALING JAYA: A coalition of NGOs have called for race- and religion-based parties to dismantle the communal party system in order to build a more solid foundation for national unity.
Gabungan Bertindak Malaysia (GBM) chairman Yong Yew Wei said the time is now ripe for these political entities to form single non-race-based parties and establish multi-racial parties in their place.
He said the Agong’s position on national unity and a recent speech by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi may be read as echoing the people’s sentiment in rejecting the politics of racial and religious polarisation.
“We see this new political and public consensus on national unity as providing the opportunity to begin a national discourse and action that can bring about the restructuring of the current race- and religious-based parties in Malaysia,” he said in a statement.
He was referring to Zahid’s speech at a recent election rally in Padang Serai, where the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman said the politics of inclusivity and unity is now more relevant and real than ever before in Malaysia.
Yong said such a restructuring of the political landscape could bring about a more stable and solid foundation for national unity.
“The emergence of non-racial and non-sectarian parties from the existing coalitions can become the role model for other bodies and associations in Malaysia to open up their membership to all races and to de-communalise their policies and activities,” he added.
Yong said this will also provide a major step forward in our journey to being a truly inclusive nation where people of all races and faiths live in harmony.
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