April 16, 2024

New Malaysia Times

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UMNO: MCA won’t leave BN over PAS, just like in 1973

BN MP Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki

KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 29 – Umno Youth chief Datuk Asyraf Wajdi, who raised eyebrows with his call for party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi to take leave until his court cases are settled, now has seemingly called MCA’s bluff over leaving BN (Barisan Nasional).

Asyraf is confident that MCA would never leave the opposition coalition despite MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong threatening to end ties with its coalition partner if it chose to work with Islamist party PAS, The Malaysian Insight reported.

He cited a similar scenario which occurred in 1973 when the then ruling Alliance coalition was dissolved and BN came into existence.

“MCA threatened to leave if PAS was welcomed into the then new ruling coalition.

“When BN was formed, the then MCA president Tan Siew Sin was the one who was most vocal in criticising and rejecting the proposal to have PAS on board, after Alliance was disbanded.

“Wee’s views should be carefully studied. Let him raise his views in the BN supreme council meeting.

“As long as there is no official announcement, the matter can still be discussed,” Asyraf was quoted as saying by the news portal.

PAS was eventually accepted into the new coalition, which was formed on January 1, 1973. However, the Islamist party did not last long in the BN, leaving a few years later due to a revolt in the Kelantan state government which it led.

Wee wants MCA consulted on BN decisions

Yesterday, Wee, who is MCA’s sole MP, had reportedly said that Umno could not make decisions for BN on its own, without getting the agreement of other component parties.

“If Umno does not respect its partners in the coalition and continues to work with PAS without bringing it to the discussion table, MCA will leave,” he said in a statement.

However, with just the one seat in the Dewan Rakyat, having lost the support of a vast majority of the ethnic Chinese population in the country, it is no surprise Asyraf has drawn his conclusion on MCA remaining whatever the future holds for BN.

Rebranding of BN to proceed

Wee, who is Ayer Hitam MP, also protested against the proposal to “rebrand BN”, saying it was done without MCA’s knowledge.

He said MCA – the second largest Barisan component party after Umno – was shocked when coalition chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi announced the move on Saturday.

Zahid also announced Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz as the new Barisan secretary-general.

“MCA only participated in one Barisan supreme council meeting after GE14 to discuss the post-­mortem on Barisan’s performance in the elections.

“We (MCA) have not participated in any other Barisan meeting since the Umno elections on June 30 this year,” Wee was quoted as saying by The Star.

However, Asyraf said the rebranding is proceeding as planned, adding that a committee would be established soon.

– NMT