Dr M says debating racial issues will cost BN votes

By Shazwan Mustafa Kamal, The Malaysian Insider

Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed issued a warning today to Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties against bringing up racial issues, saying that such a move will cost the ruling coalition to lose votes at the ballot box. 

The former prime minister gave a stern reminder to BN component parties like MCA, MIC and Gerakan, stressing that BN was a party for all races, and its coalition members needed to stop playing up to each other’s race gallery. 

“The problem with some component parties of BN is that in their desire to be popular, they like to bring up racial issues. And that will be negative because you only promote your particular race and others will get annoyed. 

“When this happens, they will not support you,” the 85-year old politician bluntly said. 

“They (BN component parties) need to know this…BN represents all races, not just one race,” Dr Mahathir told reporters today. 

Dr Mahathir’s response today comes shortly after BN concluded its annual convention last weekend, where MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek had shocked his BN colleagues with calling for a ban on the term “ketuanan Melayu.” 

In his speech at the BN convention, Dr Chua had made direct references to Umno as he reminded the ruling party that the MCA, and all other component parties, deserved to receive equal recognition as coalition partners. 

Dr Chua had told his Umno allies that there should not be a “big brother, small brother” system in the ruling pact. 

The veteran politician even took a direct swipe at Umno by pointing out that the MCA was not in agreement with how important government policy decisions were made during Umno supreme council meetings instead in the Cabinet. 

The MCA president’s remarks were not well received by many Umno leaders, with Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein saying this week that Dr Chua had upset a number of leaders last weekend with his remarks.