Dr M urges muslims to stay united, put aside political differences

PUTRAJAYA, May 25 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad urged the Malays and Muslims in the country to set aside political differences to avoid disunity.

He said Malays and Muslims in the country need to stay united and hold fast to the teachings of Islam as prescribed in the Quran and authentic Hadith.

"We are not only fellow Muslims but we also follow the teachings of Ahli Sunnah Wal Jamaah, therefore we should not be divided as we share similar beliefs."

"I hope we can reunite Muslims in Malaysia who are split up following differences in political affiliation," he said at the breaking-of-the-fast event at the Malaysian Islamic Welfare Organisation (Perkim) here today.

Also present were his wife Tun Dr Siti Hasmah Mohd Ali and Perkim honorary secretary-general Tan Sri Dr Mohd Yusof Noor.

Meanwhile, Dr Mahathir expressed gratitude that the transition of power in the country was smooth without any violence.

He said riots and violence have happened resulting in people being killed in other countries, especially when the ruling party was defeated by the opposition in elections.

"We have seen this in Middle Eastern countries, when changes in government took place, from monarchies to dictatorships and then to democratic systems and holding elections but failed to establish a credible government."

"'Alhamdullilah' (Thank God), in Malaysia, despite the change of government, there was no violence, killing and so on. This is something we have to be thankful for and be grateful for the peace in this country," he said.

He added that the upheavals in other countries post-elections should be a lesson to always be a good and effective government.

In the general election on May 9, Dr Mahathir, who is Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman, led the opposition coalition to unseat the ruling Barisan Nasional which had been in power for six decades.