KUALA LUMPUR, Oct 20 — Umno won’t be the only Barisan Nasional (BN) component to contest in the Melaka state election next month, which could put it at loggerheads with its coalition partners.
The coalition’s two other component parties, MCA and MIC, are also planning to throw their hats in the ring, party insiders told Utusan Malaysia.
The Malay daily quoted an unnamed source saying the Chinese component party is looking to field candidates in at least eight state constituencies, which were all their former seats which they lost out on in the last elections.
“If possible, MCA wants to defend all of its old seats,” the source was quoted saying.
In Election 2018, MCA contested in and lost the Machap Jaya, Kelebang, Ayer Keroh, Kesidang, Kota Laksamana, Duyong, Bandar Hilir, and Bemban state seats.
However, the source admitted that vying for eight seats could trigger conflicts between MCA and its BN allies, especially Umno, due to overlapping seats.
The MCA source said BN’s central leadership will have to intervene in the state seat allocation talk for a consensus among the component parties.
“Umno does not want to sacrifice seats and contest in a seat it is sure to win, and if that is the case, MCA would be forced to comply as seeing how MCA is not as strong as Umno.
“Unless MCA manages to convince them [Umno] that its candidates are the best option and can secure victory,” the source was quoted saying.
The same source also told the Malay daily that MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong is keen to have close ties with the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition, which it regards as an ally at the federal level and which Umno officially wants to have nothing to do with.
“If we follow the president, he wants to work together with PN. For sure he would want this to happen as he is a minister in the federal government,” the source was quoted saying.
MIC secretary-general M. Asojan told Utusan Malaysia that his party intends to run in Gadek, which it regards as its traditional seat.
“For the MIC candidate, for sure MIC will not be selecting carelessly. We have to consider it from the aspect of their education, experience, communication skills and ultimately their age.
“The only thing is that we have not met to discuss and any decision has to come from BN. Even from before, we have never shied away from the principle of cooperating with BN,” Asojan was quoted as saying.
MIC ran for Gadek seat in GE14 but lost out to Pakatan Harapan’s G. Saminathan.
The Melaka state election is set to be held on November 20 with November 8 set as Nomination Day.
The Melaka State Legislative Assembly, which consists of 28 seats, was dissolved on October 4 after four representatives withdrew their support for the leadership of former chief minister Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.