Don’t give up on Chinese voters, Umno told

May 13, 2013

Umno supreme council member Saifuddin Abdullah has warned that his party would be committing political suicide if it chooses to shift further to the right after losing the support of Chinese Malaysians in the May 5 general election.

Saifuddin said Umno should continue its moderate ideology and stay away from extremism and racism.

The former deputy minister said in an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily that there was no sign of Umno moving further towards racial politics after the 13th general election.

However, the final outcome would largely depend on the party leadership election slated for the end of this year.

“The future direction of Umno will rely on the composition of the supreme council after the party election this year,” he is quoted as saying.

Saifuddin, who is seen as a liberal young Umno leader, failed to defend his Temerloh parliamentary constituency against PAS Youth chief Nasrudin Hassan, who is known for his hardline Islamic stance.

Give up on Chinese, lose GE14

On the call to Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak from certain quarters to stop appeasing to the Chinese voters since they did not support BN in GE13, Saifuddin said this was the view of “extreme Malays”.

Should BN give up on MCA and the Chinese party gives up on Chinese voters, he said, BN would not be able to win the next general election.

“If there is no Chinese representative in the cabinet, we can kiss goodbye to the 14th general election.”

Citing MIC’s success in pushing up its Indian support in this general election, Saifuddin argued that MCA could do the same in the next general election.

He urged Najib to recognise the United Examination Certificate (UEC) of the independent Chinese secondary schools, saying there is no reason for the government to accept foreign qualifications such as the A-level, International Baccalaureate and South Australian Certificate of Education but not the UEC.

“Xiamen University (from China) will open a branch in Sepang next year. UEC holders can enter this university but cannot enter local universities nearby. How are you going to explain this to your children?” he asked.

Saifuddin dismissed the claim that Najib should resign to take responsibility for BN’s electoral setback saying that a two-thirds majority was no longer possible in a democratic country.

‘Umno’s result better than in 2008’

“If they want the prime minister to step down because of this (failure to capture two-thirds majority), it would be a wrong KPI (key performance index).

“Furthermore, Umno obtained a better result than that in the March 8, 2008 election. Umno members should admit that Najib’s performance was much more better than that of former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.”

Saifuddin reminded Umno members that Najib is the “best product” of BN in the general election and the ruling coalition would not have scored such a result without Najib.

Scrapping this “best product”, he said, would be committing suicide.

In another interview with Malay daily Sinar Harian, Saifuddin dismissed Najib’s view that the 13th general election saw a “Chinese tsunami”.

Noting that BN won in almost all Malay-majority polling districts and lost in Chinese-majority polling districts, Saifuddin argued that the voting behaviour was not drawn along ethnic lines but based on the voters’ demand for more development or democracy.

However, Saifuddin still defended Najib, saying the prime minister’s statement was “balanced” as he also stressed on national reconciliation, which the people have forgotten.

“I think what was reported by the newspaper (Utusan Malaysia) is another issue. I think the statement of prime minister is very balanced.”

  1. #1 by Bigjoe on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 10:22 am

    Honestly while his comment is commendable, its not realistic.. For UMNO and Najib, they have no choice in the matter. Old parties like UMNO don’t change when they are weak, they are dominated by reactionary in such circumstances – they will scheme, cheat etc..Its not in their nature to change, not in anyplace much less Mahathir’s UMNO.

    Look back in history and what does Mahathir do when he is backed against the wall – he uses the ISA, he finds a scapegoat, he even cut the entire country off from capitalists, he breaks institutions, he corrupts..

    Its what they do, not change..

  2. #2 by bumiborn on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 12:23 pm

    Najib wanted to project an image of PM for all Malaysian, but the problem is he bikin tak serupa cakap, never walk the talk.

  3. #3 by Godfather on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 1:44 pm

    You seriously think they worry about GE 14 ? They warlords want to know what is available in the next 5 years. If compromising with the chinese means much more transparency and a change in their way of doing “things”, then they would not compromise. Expect the threats to continue and expect them to do business as usual.

  4. #4 by Winston on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 2:56 pm

    Some articles seem to be contributed by Martians!
    Don’t the author know what was said about, not only the Chinese, but also other minorities as well?
    And it’s still on-going??
    They were so crude they don’t bear repeating!!!!

  5. #5 by DAP man on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 4:23 pm

    I have always wondered why this man is still in UMNO. He could have gone far had he chosen to be with the Opposition.

  6. #6 by Loh on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 5:10 pm

    Chinese have responded to CSL’s call to show whether Chinese want MCA to be in the Cabinet representing Chinese, and we have voted to say no thank you. Najib should be happy to note that Chinese are not concerned about who have political power, we just want elected officials to act professional in administering the nation. The first duty for them is to treat all citizens equally.

  7. #7 by tuahpekkong on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 5:30 pm

    Judging from their daily vilification and intimidation of the Chinese, it looks like they are giving up on Chinese voters. Just two weeks ago, they were still courting and trying to satisfy their demands. Very hypocritical aren’t they? Do remember that Chinese voters have long memories. Why not blame the Kelantan Malays as well for having voted PAS in five consecutive GEs?

  8. #8 by sotong on Tuesday, 14 May 2013 - 5:31 pm

    The ordinary chinese had at last get rid of their corrupt political leaders and racial parties by voting for change to improve the country.

    There is nothing more they could do to further contribute to the country.

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