Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Many laud idea of merging BN coalition parties

: The idea of ending race-based politics by merging Umno, the MCA and MIC as part of Malaysia's reconciliation effort after the general election should be explored by Barisan Nasional, said Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin (pic).

Khairy, also the Umno Youth chief, said Barisan should explore all possibilities, including the merging as part of reconciliation efforts to make the coalition more relevant post-GE13.

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“No idea is bad at the moment. We need a comprehensive analysis of the election results. Then, we should see what is the best way to reform Barisan,” he said, adding that Barisan could not continue to make changes in its present form.

“We are no longer attractive to voters. We are still seen as archaic and out of touch but the changes we bring must not be merely superficial. Just changing Barisan's name is not enough. The rakyat are looking for substantial change,” he said yesterday.

It was reported that Umno secretary-general Datuk Seri Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor had suggested for the ruling coalition to merge into a single party as part of its re-branding exercise to make itself relevant to all Malaysians.

The Putrajaya MP had said that Barisan was currently studying all possibilities to rebrand and make significant changes. However, when contacted, Tengku Adnan declined to elaborate on the matter.

MCA vice-president Datuk Donald Lim Siang Chai said the merging was a good idea as it could reduce infighting among the component parties within Barisan as well as being a suitable move for a multi-racial country like Malaysia.

Welcoming the call for an end to race-based politics, MIC secretary-general Datuk S. Murugesan described it as a positive step for Barisan.

“The Opposition has often accused us of having superficial ties and this will stop them from calling us racist,” he said.

Umno supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah also agreed, saying that he was “an advocate of direct membership of Barisan while the component parties can continue with what they have been doing”.

He said the rationale was that many people, especially middle ground youths, students, and educated professional, did not like race-based politics.
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