KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional is fully behind MCA in defending Tunku Abdul Rahman University College (TAR UC) because there is no politics, race or religion agenda in education, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“We know about the oppression by the government on TAR UC and its leadership. It has been utterly unreasonable and it is seemingly an attempt to paint a negative picture of MCA being unfit to manage the institution.
“In the name of Barisan and its spirit, we fully support MCA in its fight for the institution. I have faith that all levels in MCA will have the perseverance to take them all on, ” the Barisan chairman said to applause and cheers from 1,499 delegates when opening the 66th MCA Annual General Meeting at Wisma MCA here yesterday.
Zahid, who is also Umno president, said Barisan’s three main component parties – Umno, MCA and MIC – had been “friends in need” for each other throughout the decades.
“When the coalition was formed in the past, Umno, MCA and MIC were important components of Barisan that negotiated with the British for the country’s independence.
“When Barisan was defeated in the last general election, the core parties still remained.
“This shows that we are friends in need for each other in Barisan, ” he said, describing the GE14 defeat as a “challenge” sent by God to test Barisan’s resilience.
The coalition, he added, was still resilient “because we did not become a reptile that jumps from one place to another”.
Zahid warned that he was “watching” and would take action against disloyal party members when the time is right.
“During this trying time, we want to see who are the reptiles that will jump around. Don’t expect me to sign letters of authority for those who are disloyal to the party to contest later.
“Keeping quiet does not mean I don’t know or am not going to take action, ” he said.
Also present at the AGM were Barisan deputy chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan, MIC deputy president Datuk Seri M. Saravanan and other coalition leaders.
On Barisan’s recent thumping victory in Tanjung Piai, Zahid said this was the first by-election following the Muafakat Nasional alliance between Umno and PAS that was announced in September.
“It was the first and real test for Muafakat Nasional but we scored A1, the best results for that. This shows that it is a referendum of the people.
“If we can keep up with the good momentum by continuing the cooperation and strengthening collaboration with all Barisan component parties, I am sure we will be elected as the government again in GE15,” he said.
Zahid also lauded MCA for amending its party constitution to include non-Chinese as affiliate members, adding that Barisan would follow suit to allow direct membership for all to join.
“We cannot deny the reality that we all want to be as one. Therefore, opening up the party is good. Congratulations to MCA on this, ” he said.
Moving forward, Zahid said Barisan component parties should refrain from raising sensitive issues in the media or in public and to instead bring them up for deliberation within the coalition first.
“It’s like a discussion among siblings. If we cannot reach an agreement through meeting, then we can bring it up with the president.
“Umno will take into consideration the sensitivity of MCA and MIC, while MCA will also take care of the sensitivity of the Malays and Muslims.
“As for MIC, mei wen ti, wen ti bu da (there’s no problem, no problem too big), ” he said, adding that there was no problem that Barisan could not solve as siblings.