Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki say the principle of coexistence needs to be further acknowledged and promoted. Pic by ROSELA ISMAL.

KUALA LUMPUR: The principle of coexistence which has been the bedrock of Umno’s constitution is also reflected in the country’s Federal Constitution, Prime Minister's Department Datuk Dr Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki said.

Asyraf said the principle, which should be celebrated as Malaysia’s unique strength, would be highlighted during the Ummah Agenda Empowerment Convention 3.0 (KPAU) on Sunday (Nov 19) at the Putra World Trade Centre.

“Led by Barisan Nasional and Umno, we have a very strong and wise government which ensures that (people of) all religions and races could live in peace and harmony, based on mutual respect, love and tolerance.

“This principle of coexistence, which the government has upheld since the country achieved its independence, needs to be further acknowledged and promoted.

“We do not want this country to be led by certain groups that are so greedy to wrest power, that they would stoke hateful sentiments towards the government, which would little by little, result in the collapse of the nation’s foundations,” he said during an interview with New Straits Times and BH at his office today.

The convention, to be held about two weeks before this year’s Umno General Assembly, would gather various stakeholders such as academics, representatives of non-governmental organisations and government agencies and youth leaders.

The outcome of the gathering, which would collect the stakeholder’s aspirations and discuss topics related to the “empowerment of the ummah and Umno”, would guide debaters and speakers in presenting their resolutions during the General Assembly.

Asyraf, who is also an Umno Supreme Council member, said the connotation of ‘ummah’ was not only related to Muslims but encompassed all groups and levels of society.

He said Umno was an inclusive party undetached from the grassroots.

“Whatever policy that has been in place by Umno would not only affect Malay Muslims but also non-Muslims and various other communities.

“Hence, coexistence is a fundamental principle pioneered and defended by Umno. But it (Umno’s leadership in championing coexistence) is something that many has forgotten.”

Asyraf said the one-day convention which would run from 8.30am to 5.30pm, would be divided into four clusters (education, economy, religion and politics) and will be chaired by Umno Supreme Council members.

“Second Finance Minister Datuk Seri Johari Abdul Ghani will chair the economic cluster, while the education cluster will be led by Education Minister Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.

“The religious cluster will be chaired by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom while Melaka Chief Minister Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Rural and Regional Development Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob will lead the political cluster.”