KUALA LUMPUR, March 4 — Barisan Nasional (BN) main component parties MCA and MIC announced today that they are seeking to form a new political coalition, claiming a lack of “mutual respect” from Umno within the alliance.
In a joint statement, MCA and MIC said BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz had repeatedly uttered racial remarks perceived to be from Umno, and the Malay nationalist party’s continued silence had cracked the foundation of mutual respect in the coalition.
“When there is no mutual respect and there is a breach of unity in diversity within the component parties of BN, the very foundations of BN have been challenged and threatened,” MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong and his MIC counterpart Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran said.
“MCA and MIC are therefore left with no choice but to move on to explore a new alliance to reflect the true intentions of unity in diversity of its original intent,” they added.
Both parties also urged BN’s Supreme Council to convene immediately to decide on BN’s fate, saying that BN was formed to promote political unity, stability and harmony in a multiracial nation.
“Unfortunately what stood as a brick cemented coalition began to crack when repeated attacks were made to its foundation and the spirit of cooperation and collective responsibility,” they said, blaming friendly fires and statements that undermine BN’s spirit.
Last week, Nazri had asked MCA why it was still in the BN after its previous criticisms of the coalition and resolution to seek it dissolution.
In response, MCA demanded BN removed Nazri as its secretary-general, after he taunted the component party for remaining in the coalition it previously considered dead.
On his campaign trail in Semenyih, Nazri had claimed the appointment of non-Muslims as the attorney general, chief justice and finance minister was causing fear among the Malay community.
He also said non-Malays should not question Malay privileges as the former group also enjoys special privileges such as vernacular schools.
BN was founded in 1973, and since its precursor the Alliance Party, had governed the country for six decades until its shock defeat to Pakatan Harapan last year.