Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi criticized Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad for his comment about the government’s ban on discussing race, religion, and royalty (3R) being too broad. Zahid stated that Mahathir, as a former prime minister, should understand the issue better and not raise it for personal reasons. He accused Mahathir of deliberately disputing the matter. Zahid also mentioned that during Mahathir’s time as prime minister, the Internal Security Act was used to detain individuals with differing views, including himself.
Zahid emphasized that discussions on 3R topics should not be questioned due to their sensitivity and their impact on values enshrined in the Federal Constitution. Mahathir, on August 29, claimed that the government lacked the authority to prohibit discussions related to 3R matters unless it pertains to national security.
Regarding a different topic, Zahid expressed his belief that there’s no need to revive the Muafakat Nasional pact concerning Umno’s cooperation with PAS. He stated that cooperation should be based on sincerity rather than manipulation and indicated that Umno shouldn’t collaborate with PAS again. This response followed PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man’s statement about the party’s willingness to continue unifying with Umno, despite Umno’s decision to collaborate with the Pakatan Harapan coalition under a unity government arrangement. This was in response to a call by former supreme council member Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman to revive the Muafakat Nasional spirit involving the two parties.