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KUCHING, Aug 10, 2015:

Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi thinks it needs a generation of Malaysians to be able to work together in improving religious and racial relationship in the country.

Zahid, in an exclusive interview with KTS Group Print Media and Radio Station, also said Malaysia needs too look into the education system to counter the deteriorating relationship among the multi-racial and multi-religious community in the nation.

“I think we need to go back to basics and look into our education system,” Zahid was reported to have said when met during his first visit to the state as the deputy premier over the weekend.

The Umno vice president who is normally perceived as an ultra-Malay leader by many, said fighting for Islam and Malays was his principle but as a leader he also said he has never forgotten about other races, religions and cultures.

“All Malaysian leaders should have a balanced treatment of all different groups of people,” Zahid was quoted as saying.

In the interview, Zahid also revealed that he was raised by a Chinese foster father.

“I am not ultra Malay and I am certainly not anti-Chinese. How could I be one when I was raised by a Chinese foster father from the Hai Lam clan?” said Zahid in the interview.

The Home Minister also said growing up with his foster father, saw him selling ice-cream together since primary one till primary six and sharing meals with his foster siblings in their kitchen.

“Until now I still maintain my relationship with them,” the report quoted him as saying.

Zahid also stressed that he could not afford to negotiate with perpetrators of illegal and underground activities.

“I am firm in taking action and I am colour blind in taking any action against illegal activities, but I must be seen as fair in accordance with the law of our nation.”

Sarawak was the first state Zahid visited after his appointment, as he realised the state needed focus in rural development.

“I reckon development has to be brought by the federal government to assist the state government, but some of these requests are not within the main budget framework.

Despite this, our good relationship does expedite requests as we in the federal government understand the needs of the people on the ground who dearly need basic facilities.”

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