Telling MCA to know its position, Zahid claims Umno has other alternatives if MCA decides to leave BN while Annuar Musa says Umno may even work with arch-rival DAP.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan today told MCA to just leave Barisan Nasional (BN) instead of seeking to dissolve it.
In a statement, the former Negri Sembilan mentri besar said MCA’s proposal to dissolve BN will not strengthen the two-party system in Malaysian politics.
“MCA should be more firm and clear. Just leave BN instead of making a resolution to dissolve it.
“They should not drag other BN component parties into MCA’s internal polemics. The decision to disband BN clearly shows that MCA does not want to be seen leaving BN alone,” he said in a statement.
Mohamad said MCA’s decision to move for BN’s dissolution was because the Chinese party did not want to be blamed if the decision weakened Malaysian democracy amid a fractured Opposition.
“Umno, MIC, MyPPP and PBRS have stressed that BN will continue to be a platform that they will defend, but also to fight for.”
The status of MyPPP’s membership in BN is unclear due to a power struggle within the party, with one faction wanting to quit BN while another wanting to stay.
PBRS had previously announced its departure from BN and applied to join Pakatan Harapan. However, it returned to BN’s fold after Harapan ignored its application.
Mohamad said MCA’s decision to move to dissolve BN was predictable.
“The decision is expected. The negative sentiment towards BN has increased among MCA members after GE14,” he said.
MCA won only one federal and two state seats in the May 9 election this year.
“As a party that is principled, MCA should be more ‘decisive’. Just get out of BN like other parties who left BN unconditionally,” he said.
Gerakan and other Sabah and Sarawak parties quit BN after the coalition lost federal power for the first time in history.
Mohamad said MCA should quickly leave BN so that the remaining components can rebuild the pact.
“I’d be very thankful if MCA promptly leaves BN. We cannot have friends who burden us when we are at our lowest ebb in our political journey, and do not want to shoulder the burden for our losses.
“MCA’s extreme flip-flop shows their inability to cut ties with BN…and as such, they cannot make the decision to leave,” Mohamad said.
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong and the party’s central committee had decided at the party’s AGM to dissolve BN and to form a new alliance. Wee said the consensus by the three founding parties – Umno, MCA and MIC – was needed for the coalition’s dissolution.
Umno, MCA, and MIC formed the Alliance and fought for the country’s independence in 1957.
In 1973, the Alliance was renamed BN with other parties joining in the coalition.
Meanwhile, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said the party must keep its options on cooperation open, even if it means working together with its arch-rival party DAP.
“If Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad can cooperate with DAP, if PAS can cooperate with DAP, who knows, maybe one day Umno can also cooperate with DAP.
“Don’t keep yourself in a cocoon. The most important thing here is how we can serve the people best,” he said.
Annuar was commenting on MCA’s proposal to dissolve BN.
He said the dissolution is just a suggestion and that there are many options to reinvent Barisan.
“Barisan is reinventing itself. So far, there are no rumours of the coalition dissolving, as we have to consult other component parties.
“The future of Barisan is not determined by MCA only,” he said to reporters when met at Parliament lobby on Monday (Dec 3).
However, Annuar said the dissolution of Barisan is not an urgent matter, as the 15th general election is still far away.
MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M Saravanan said MCA should ensure that it has a better political ideology than Barisan before making such a proposal.
“You must have something (ideology) better before dissolving the existing one,” he said, adding that the party leadership should be allowed to discuss the proposal.
BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said MCA has no right to demand the dissolution of BN, even as he pointed out the Chinese party only has one seat in Parliament.
Even then the seat comprises of majority Malay constituents.
“So they should know their real position if they wish to remain relevant in our political landscape,” he said.
Responding to Zahid’s remarks, MCA president Wee Ka Siong reminded him that each component party has the right to address the coalition’s fate regardless of the number of elected seats it holds.
“It is not about seats but the consensus of the component parties. Always treasure the spirit of the coalition.
“I am just doing my duty to deliver the decision and proposal made by my delegates,” he added.
He urged Zahid to stop talking about the number of seats or MPs as decisions were made not based on the total number of representatives or on race.
“We were talking about revamping BN as a whole.
“To revamp a political structure, all component parties can have their say.”
Zahid also said that Umno has other alternatives if MCA decides to leave the coalition.
“We have other alternatives. We have many Chinese parties. They also would like to work with us.
“I shouldn’t mention now, but many Chinese parties would like to work closely with us,” Zahid said.
At the MCA annual general meeting yesterday, five delegates staged a walkout in protest against a resolution to push for the dissolution of BN.
The group was unhappy that MCA opted to push for dissolving BN instead of leaving the coalition – which, according to Perlis MCA delegate Lok Kee Beng, is what the Chinese community wants.