Strife brewing in Negri Barisan

PETALING JAYA: Barisan Nasional component parties in Negri Sembilan appear to be at odds after Seremban Umno Youth chief Zool Amali Hussein declared on Friday (May 7) that his wing was cutting ties with MCA in the state.

Rasah MCA secretary Ng Kian Nam later said Zool's remarks were disrespectful towards MCA and that the wing's decision to sever ties was not in line with Barisan's stance.

"Zool's remarks are insensitive and do not take into account the feelings of the Chinese community in Negri," he told The Star on Saturday (May 8).

Ng said the Chinese community comprised 23.2% or 215,000 of the total state population and Barisan had traditionally entrusted MCA to contest two seats (Rasah and Seremban) out of the eight in Negri as these two seats have the most Chinese residents.

He also said Seremban Umno Youth's stance is against the core values of Barisan that upholds the principles of racial and religious diversity, which is also in line with the Federal Constitution.

"Barisan's core values are still relevant today. In fact, this is one of the main factors that can determine if Barisan can win the next election," said Ng.

He urged the national- and state-level Umno leadership to take action against Zool to prove Barisan's commitment to ensure mutual respect between component parties.

The Star has reached out to Negri Sembilan Umno state liaison chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan for a comment on the matter.

Last Tuesday (May 4), Negri MCA chief Siow Koi Voon said the party intended to contest the Seremban parliamentary seat in GE15, but would leave the final decision to the Barisan leadership.

In GE14, DAP's Anthony Loke won the Seremban Parliamentary seat with 55,503 votes, a majority of 30,694 votes over MCA's Datuk Chong Sin Woon, who garnered 24,809 votes while PAS' Shariffuddin Ahmad had 11,506 votes.

The Seremban seat was last won by MCA in 2004, when Hon Choon Kim with 36,542 votes defeated DAP's Choong Yen Loong with 20,306 votes.

In 2008, the Seremban seat fell to DAP's John Fernandez who had 32,970 votes against MCA's Yu Chow Tow's 29,022 votes.

The Seremban state seat has been held by DAP since 2008.

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