MCA president Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai has issued a warning that Umno could be kicked out of Barisan Nasional if the party moves towards theocratic politics.
Addressing the MCA Selangor 2018 convention on Sunday, Liow said BN must continue to uphold principles of cultural unity and defend racial harmony in the country.
He said if Umno adopts an approach which is racial and religious in nature, BN will either be dissolved or MCA will eject Umno from the coalition.
“BN will hold on to principles of moderation. If any component party, including Umno, moves towards racialism, religion, theocracy or extremism, then they will be left with only two choices.
“The first option is to dissolve Barisan Nasional as it will no longer be a harmonious gathering of races. The second option is to kick out Umno.
“We (MCA) are a party which practices moderation. So why should we leave BN? Why can’t we kick out Umno?” he said.
Liow, when asked for his views on Umno’s new cooperation with Pas, said MCA does not agree with the new direction.
“Umno gave their assurance that they (Umno and Pas) would only work together on certain issues, and would not form a merger.
“I have actually stated this stand to Umno, that we disagree with any alliance or efforts to steer the party (Umno), specifically as a BN component party, towards race and religion,” he said.
Liow said that while cooperation between opposition parties on specific issues are acceptable, it should not lead to any formal merger.
“We are a moderate party. As I’ve said, BN is moderate. If there is cooperation on some issues, then let it be. After all, we are all part of the opposition,” he said.
BN saw Gerakan as well as eight other component parties from Sabah and Sarawak exit the coalition following its thumping defeat in the 14th general election.
BN is now comprised of Umno, MIC and MCA, with MyPPP’s status still up in the air following the latter’s internal leadership crisis.
After GE14, Umno and Pas first embarked on a cooperation in the Sungai Kandis and Seri Setia by-elections, where both parties had loosely campaigned for each other’s candidates against their Pakatan Harapan opponents.
Umno president, Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi brought the two parties even closer by formally attending Pas’ muktamar in Kuala Terengganu earlier this month. The move is set to be reciprocated by Pas president, Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang, who has indicated that he would likely attend Umno’s upcoming general assembly. – NST