How BN racial remarks undercut MCA support

Lee Kim Heng (right) with others who were announced as MCA candidates for the general election.

BAKRI: Bentayan candidate Lee Kim Heng of MCA has urged fellow Barisan Nasional politicians to watch what they say and do, lest it affect the chances of other BN candidates in the May 9 general election.

Lee said that Chinese voters he met during his rounds of Bentayan, in Muar, Johor, were unhappy with racial statements made by some BN politicians.

MCA was a victim of such remarks and was losing Chinese support because of such problems, he told FMT.

“On the one hand, we are trying our best to keep our party together, but on the other hand, we are questioned by certain BN leaders about why the Chinese no longer support us,” he said.

“The voters are angry at the government, and as a result, they are reluctant to support us because we are under the same umbrella.

“They know that I have been doing my service here in Bakri, but they know that by supporting MCA they are supporting the government,” he said.

The Chinese community were still angry with past racial remarks such as “orang Cina balik Cina”, Lee said. “Some of the BN leaders, the racist sentiment among them is still very strong. Remarks like these made the Chinese very angry.”

With MCA being a part of the BN coalition, MCA politicians receive flak for supporting “bad or racist leaders”. Opposition politicians who speak up against such leaders win support, he said.

Top BN leaders must start listening to the opinions of component parties, and find ways to resolve such problems, he said.

He praised BN chairman Najib Razak’s 1Malaysia vision to unite all Malaysians but said “there are still leaders below him who are going against that vision”

Bentayan state seat is within the Bakri parliamentary constituency.

Lee is a local councillor and Jalan Abdullah MCA branch chief. “I am a local boy, I have been serving here for 20 years. But the opposition is very strong especially as it has been able to mobilise social media. They have an advantage there.”

He said he had a 50-50 chance against the DAP candidate Ng Yak Howe, a quality control engineer who is a local leader in Muar.

Bentayan was won in the 2013 general election by Chua Wee Beng of DAP, who defeated MCA’s Fong Soh Lan by 6,847 votes, an increased majority over the 2008 general election when DAP’s Wee Tong Hiang beat MCA’s Lee Ching Yong by 2,796 votes.

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