BN’s fate in the balance as top leaders meet

The entrance of the Barisan Nasional headquarters in the Putra World Trade Centre in Kuala Lumpur today.

KUALA LUMPUR: The fate of Barisan Nasional (BN) hangs in the balance today as top leaders gathered to discuss the future of the former ruling coalition.

Today’s meeting was chaired by BN acting chairman Mohamad Hasan and attended by top leaders from Umno, MCA and MIC. These include Umno vice-presidents Mahdzir Khalid and Ismail Sabri Yaakob.

MCA president Wee Ka Siong, his deputy Dr Mah Hang Soon and secretary-general Chew Mei Fun were also present, along with MIC president SA Vigneswaran, his deputy M Saravanan and Umno Youth chief Asyraf Wajdi Dusuki.

MCA and MIC previously called for an urgent meeting of the coalition’s top leadership to decide on its future, saying they no longer believe it is committed to multiracialism.

In a joint statement by their presidents, the two parties expressed regret over the silence of Umno leaders on what they said were “racial remarks” by BN secretary-general Nazri Aziz, and declared their intention to forge a new alliance.

Nazri was notably absent from today’s meeting, having said yesterday that he would give it a miss.

Despite the serious nature of their meeting, BN leaders were all smiles as they made their way to the conference room at the coalition’s headquarters in the Putra World Trade Centre.

The meeting comes shortly after Umno formalised its cooperation with Islamist party PAS.

In the past, PAS had been critical of MCA and MIC which opposed its push to amend the Syariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965.