MIC keen to join PAS-Umno alliance, MCA says no

Kenneth Tee
BN chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right) with Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (left) dan MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (centre) at the MCA AGM in Kuala Lumpur December 1, 2019. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Dec 1 — MCA today rejected joining Muafakat Nasional, the alliance forged between Umno and PAS, even as the third Barisan Nasional (BN) partner MIC said it is in favour of entering the Malay Muslim political cooperative pact.

News portal Malaysiakini reported MIC president Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran telling reporters he is keen for the BN ethnic Indian party to be part of Muafakat Nasional when asked during a joint press conference after the MCA annual general assembly.

“Yes, of course,” Vigneswaran was quoted saying when asked if MIC was willing to be part of the PAS-Umno pact.

However, MCA president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong said his party sees Muafakat Nasional as representing only the “spirit” of unity among the Opposition parties.

“No, no. We only appear in one coalition, that is BN. I don’t understand what you are saying about a new coalition.

“I said it in my policy speech, it is purely the spirit of opposition togetherness My interpretation of Muafakat Nasional — it is not something that you have to apply to be a member, but anyone who wishes, who subscribes to the idea, even Sarawakians, Sabahans, and those want to contest together,” Wee was quoted saying.

Malaysiakini reported Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan saying earlier that MIC is very much in favour of joining Muafakat Nasional and MCA is for the pact in principle so long as it doesn’t contravene the Federal Constitution.

Mohamad was also quoted saying the Muafakat Nasional’s technical committee is currently exploring its options as a coalition.

“We are looking at every aspect, every angle, whether or not to form Muafakat Nasional as a party, or just a loose coalition, whether BN and other parties join on their own or we form a bloc.”

Muafakat Nasional was formalised in a charter between BN’s biggest party Umno and its former nemesis PAS on September 14, ending their decades of political enmity in a push for a united Malay-Islamist front to uphold the interest of the Malays, Islam as the official religion and Malay as the national language.

The Opposition cooperation has proven to be a formidable foe to the ruling Pakatan Harapan coalition in several past by-elections, most notably when MCA won back the Tanjung Piai parliamentary it lost in Election 2018 with a whopping majority of 15,086 votes.

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