Mohamad hints MN may replace BN in Tg Piai

Maybe it’s (MN) to rebrand BN? Who knows? Maybe (the term) BN is no more palatable to the people and we can call MN a new party? Why not?

(NST) – BARISAN Nasional (BN) is using the Tanjung Piai by-election as a testing ground to gauge the support of non-Muslims for the Muafakat Nasional (MN) cooperation between the opposition pact and Pas.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said this was so that BN and Pas could change the people’s perception of MN, that it is not a racist movement.

He also hinted that there is a possibility the term MN would be used as a new name in place of BN.

“We are not racist as alleged. This is the message BN needs to send to the whole country, including Sabah and Sarawak. Tanjung Piai is the best testing ground for us to do so.

“The first phase was Himpunan Penyatuan Ummah to unite the Malay parties and the second phase was MN, where we gather Pas with other BN component parties such as MCA and MIC.

“Maybe it’s (MN) to rebrand BN? Who knows? Maybe (the term) BN is no more palatable to the people and we can call MN a new party? Why not?

“But this is only a possibility I’m exploring and testing on the ground here (Tanjung Piai),” he said during a walkabout in Parit Sulaiman near here yesterday.

On Chinese voters’ leaning towards the coalition in Tanjung Piai, Mohamad said their sentiment was in favour of BN.

He said the Chinese voters were taking a neutral stand and no longer favoured Pakatan Harapan, especially DAP.

“It looks like their allegiance has shifted from DAP to neutral, and that’s all BN needs.

“Once they are neutral, it is up to us to see how we can convince them.

“Tanjung Piai is also the best place for us to gauge the people’s support for MCA, whether or not MCA is able to pull the Chinese votes away from DAP.”

Asked if Umno supporters in Tanjung Piai accepted BN’s decision in fielding Datuk Seri Dr Wee Jeck Seng from MCA instead of a Malay candidate, Mohamad said this was part of BN’s strategy.

At the moment, he said Umno supporters had begun to accept Wee.

“We have to look at the bigger picture. PH is accusing us of being racist and that is why we fielded the same candidate (Wee). If we had fielded a Malay, we would be walking right into PH’s trap, that we are racist and bullying MCA.”

Wee, who was the constituency’s two-term parliamentarian from 2008 to 2018, also served as Pekan Nanas assemblyman from 2004 to 2008.