KUALA LUMPUR, Nov 27 ― Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said that the coalition’s weakest links are its two Chinese and Indian race based parties and foresee them having a tough time in the next general election.
He also disclosed that seat negotiations have started even though the 15th general election is not due for a couple more years.
Annuar, who is from Umno, the BN lynchpin, told The Malaysian Insight in an interview published today that both MCA and MIC will have difficulties winning votes especially in urban constituencies as the Opposition DAP is “very strong” there.
“It’s not going to be easy. We have to accept the fact that DAP is a very established political party and it seems to be very influential, especially among the Chinese.
“In the urban areas, DAP is still very dominant, still very strong.
“MCA and MIC will have a tough time winning or capturing the urban seats,” Annuar was quoted saying.
In GE14, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong retained the party’s sole parliamentary seat in Ayer Hitam while MIC’s Datuk Seri M. Saravanan won Tapah and Datuk C. Sivarraajh won Cameron Highlands.
However, Sivarraajh lost the Cameron Highlands seat after the Election Court ruled vote buying was involved. While BN retained the seat in the subsequent election, it was won by Ramli Mohd Nor, a direct representative of the coalition who also became its first Orang Asli MP.
The BN numbers remained as MCA’s Datuk Seri Wee Jeck Seng later took Tanjung Piai in a by-election last year following the death of its Pakatan Harapan incumbent Datuk Dr Farid Md Rafik from a heart attack.
Despite his initial remarks, Annuar, a former Umno secretary-general said his party has a “responsibility” to help MCA and MIC win on account of their shared history predating Malaysia’s founding.
“I must admit MCA and MIC are not as strong as they used to be but it is our responsibility to assist them and to give them our loyal support.
“We play as a team, BN must be seen as one entity, which is supported by four major political parties. So, we would not allow MCA and MIC to face difficulties on their own,” he told the news portal.
Annuar also said negotiations for GE15 have started as many were anticipating snap polls.
He also indicated that discussions this time were not as straightforward with BN’s various political cooperation with PAS and Perikatan Nasional.
“We should not be talking about seat distribution now because we’re still technically in the third year of the current term.
“Unfortunately, due to the political instability, people can’t help but speculate about the next elections and about seat distribution.
“As far as BN is concerned, we have engaged with our partners. We have been talking about who should contest where in a very brotherly manner and so far, we do not have problems,” he was quoted saying.