KKB by-election: 'MCA, MIC's refusal an open threat'

KUALA LUMPUR: MCA and MIC's refusal to help in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election is an open threat that should not be taken lightly by Barisan Nasional.

Analysts said the statements from both parties stemmed from their feeling of being sidelined within the unity government.

They said the parties' refusal to help in campaigning if the candidate was not from BN was about "saving face" due to their dwindling support base.

However, Universiti Teknologi Malaysia's Associate Professor Dr Mazlan Ali, said the refusal of the BN component parties to aid in campaigning could impact the by-election results.

"MCA has harboured dissatisfaction from the outset because DAP now dominates the government, as it holds more than 40 seats and it has secured ministerial posts, while MCA and MIC have none.

"These parties feel disheartened as Umno, with only 26 seats, holds key ministerial positions. So, MCA and MIC perceive their roles as unappreciated or limited."

MCA and MIC had said that they would not campaign in the Kuala Kubu Baharu by-election on May 11 if the unity government coalition did not field a candidate from BN.

Mazlan said this condition was unreasonable, as the state seat had been held by DAP for a long time.

He said both parties should discuss with BN before making such statements.

"When they make such statements, it constitutes a threat. This is an internal issue in BN. BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi must take action.

"MCA and MIC seem to be seeking attention. Zahid will likely summon both party presidents for a discussion, and the matter may be resolved."

Mazlan warned of potential repercussions on the by-election if Zahid failed to address any internal conflict.

He said although MCA and MIC might not have strong support in Kuala Kubu Baharu, they could still influence the by-election.

"If MCA represents 1,000 voters there, it could complicate matters for Pakatan Harapan and give an advantage to the opposition. So, even though its support may not be as strong, we cannot disregard its influence.

"This is why the BN leadership must address the matter. They need to come to an agreement.

"If the Chinese or Indian communities protest, it could pose a problem for DAP as they rely on non-Malay votes.

"If 30 per cent of Chinese or Indian support shifts to PN, it could win."

Nusantara Academy for Strategic Research senior fellow Dr Azmi Hassan said MCA and MIC were trying to save face due to their lack of support.

"Their excuse is lame. I see it as having little impact."

He said both parties should work with Umno in the by-election.

International Islamic University Malaysia political analyst Syaza Shukri said MCA and MIC were showing they no longer wanted to follow Umno's lead without question.

"There is tension in the development of BN and its direction, particularly in its relationship with PH. In essence, both coalitions are unhappy with each other, confirming that it is a coalition of convenience and nothing more. It will be a tough battle in Kuala Kubu Baharu," she said.

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