: The cross-cultural communication among the various communities in the country must continue to be defended to avoid societal compartmentalisation.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the sentiment of societal compartmentalisation which existed during the policy of divide and rule should rightly have been wiped off after 60 years of independence.
"Malaysians comprise a plural society, whereby we feel the plurality should be defended with full harmony, defend the cross-cultural communication.
"This is so we (Malays) can understand the feelings of the Chinese, Indians and Orang Asli communities and they also can understand our feelings," he said in his speech when opening the Tapah UMNO Division delegates conference here today.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO vice-president, stressed that despite being the sanctified party of the Malays, UMNO is also the main catalyst in fostering the cross-cultural communication in the plural society.
In addition, Ahmad Zahid, who is now performing the duties of UMNO deputy president, cited the Tapah UMNO Division as among those successful in practising cross-cultural communication.
He said that this was proven when its Member of Parliament, Datuk M. Saravanan is from MIC while the two State Assemblymen, namely, Datuk Dr Mah Hang Soon (Chenderiang) and Datuk Samsudin Abu Hasan (Ayer Kuning) are from MCA and UMNO, respectively.
"There will be no problems in Tapah because of excellent cross-culture communication, compartmentalisation does not arise," he said.
Ahmad Zahid also drew attention when he said that any Member of Parliament who is not a division chief must share the allocation received with all State Assemblymen and does not use it for personal interests.