The people, particularly the Malays, can place their trust in Bersatu to take care of and protect them, said its chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Mahathir, who is the prime minister, said the time had come for the Malays to change their perception that only Umno could protect them.
“The Malays feel unsafe in our country because they think that only Umno can protect them, but Bersatu will also become their protector just like Umno was.
“We will not conduct ourselves like Umno which was once respected and held in high regard but later on forgot the struggle for the community and religion,” he said.
Mahathir addressed about 20,000 people at Bersatu's Aidilfitri “open house” at the Bukit Merah Laketown Resort near here.
Also present at the event were Bersatu president and Home Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, Bersatu deputy president and Kedah Menteri Besar Mukhriz Mahathir and Bersatu Perak chairperson and Perak Menteri Besar Ahmad Faizal Azumu.
Mahathir urged the people attending the open house to register as Bersatu members to help enlarge the party to enable it to better champion the plight of the people.
“I am confident the large number of people present here today augurs well for Bersatu. God willing, we will have a better future and grow bigger and stronger. It is not our intention to compete with the other parties but to be just as strong,” he said.
Mahathir said he was delighted with what he described as an encouraging gathering of people from the various communities at the event.
“Although our country is multiracial and multi-religious, we live together in peace, comfort and safety whatever the event or celebration may be. In some other countries, where there are different religions, the people resort to civil wars, killings and religious persecution,” he said. - Bernama