PETALING JAYA: The exodus of several Umno leaders who had in the past played the race-religious card presents Barisan Nasional the best chance to rebrand itself to make it even more inclusive.
In stating this, MCA spokesperson Ti Lian Ker added that this would lead to an even stronger BN, especially since the Opposition was also fractured.
The ruling coalition, he said, should seize the opportunity to instil the spirit of the national alliance as envisioned by Malaysia’s first prime minister, Tunku Abdul Rahman, which Ti argued, had similarities to Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia motto.
Malaysians, the MCA religious harmony bureau chairman claimed, were clamouring for the period that existed during Tunku Abdul Rahman’s time, when being Malaysian first was paramount and when race and religion were not used to secure support for any party.
Ti went on to point out that the race and religion card had been played more prominently during Dr Mahathir Mohamed’s era and when Anwar Ibrahim was the deputy prime minister, citing the book titled ‘The Malay Dilemma’ penned by the elderly statesman and the push to do away with vernacular and mission schools when Anwar was the education minister.
“This is why the BN leadership should be happy to be rid of any extremists or ultras at this juncture. We should be happy that these rotten apples are now with the Opposition.
“The Opposition can hail these people as heroes all they want, but a leopard does not change its spots, while those who fail to understand history are doomed to repeat it,” he said in a statement, alluding to Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM).
PPBM which was founded by the likes of Mahathir and former Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin was last week recognised as a political party.
The former Pahang assemblyman’s statement comes a day after Umno Information Chief Annuar Musa “thanked” Gelang Patah permanent chairman Baharom Abdul Ghani and Kulai Umno deputy division chief Tosrin Jarvanti for quitting Umno, stating that the party could do without wolves in sheep’s clothing.