*Picture Credit: Berita Harian
I am writing in response to Dr Wee Ka Siong in “Umno more respectful now, says MCA chief” published on 27th January.
First and foremost, we have come a long way since the defeat of Barisan Nasional in GE14. Bear in mind that our coalition was founded in 1973, now reaching 47 years in existence. This coalition, first started during the municipal elections of 1952, was an accidental one.
It was seen that an informal electoral pact between Umno and MCA at that time was viable since there was an absence of ethnic- and communal-based parties contesting the elections.
Umno and MCA, as brothers, have weighed out the pros and cons, the supports and resistance both parties would receive if they were to cooperate instead of competing with one another.
In 1953, a year after the municipal elections of 1952, Umno and MCA formalised under Parti Perikatan.
Umno and MCA have cooperated, worked and negotiated together even before 1957. Putting it in a simpler manner, Malaysia as we know today is a result of rigorous and honest dialogues undertook by our wise and often nonchalant founding fathers in the coalition.
I agree with Wee that it would be a shame if BN were to separate now. At this juncture, all leaders in the coalition must reform and strengthen BN.
At the same time, we must also welcome muafakat nasional as a new independent addition to our pact. As much as we should make muafakat nasional work, we should also make BN the preferred choice for the electorate, again.
Thus, Umno Johor will continue to provide stable and responsible leadership for BN. We are all equals in the coalition, but as the first among equals, Umno must demonstrate kepimpinan Melayu or Malay leadership that is trustworthy, frank and wise.
Each of us in the coalition, including MIC, represents the interests of our respective communities. There will be disagreements, I am sure of that. But we can always accommodate, as always – for the sake of Malaysia. Let us continue to remind ourselves, that this country was built by moderates. Malaysia is meant to be a moderate nation. Therefore, it is also our utmost responsibility to not disregard this fact.
Concerning the Tg Piai by-election, it was a manifestation of Umno’s commitment, especially Umno Johor, to the spirit of power-sharing and consensus.
Together, we will achieve greater heights if we try to understand each other’s concerns and discuss it frankly. As brothers who have to mend this nation together with our bare hands.
Losing the last elections made us realise the flaws in BN. Now, it is our principal duty to fix it.
* Hasni Mohammad is the Johor Umno liaison committee chief.
**This article was published in The Malaysian Insight