As Umno assembly nears, Soi Lek rushes to 'save' Najib from Malay PM hot potato

As Umno assembly nears, Soi Lek rushes to 'save' Najib from Malay PM hot potato

After loudly challenging the Pakatan Rakyat to name a non-Malay prime minister a day ago, MCA president Chua Soi Lek rushed to make a U-turn to save boss-party Umno from embarrassment over a simmering debate over who had the right to the country's top job.

“Uncalled for, the prime minister right now will still be a Malay,” Soi Lek told the press.

“Since independence, BN has been in control of the government and all this while, not withstanding the Constitution, the prime minister must be from Umno or a Malay. It is the convention," MCA vice president Chor Chee Heung also said.

Shifting gears as Umno meet nears

The MCA's rush to defend Umno was understandable because the party has always trumpeted itself as a champion of the Malays. Furthermore, Umno has always warned they Malays that should Pakatan come to power, the PKR led by Opposition Leader Anwar and PAS led by Hadi Awang would sell away the community's political dominance to the Chinese-based DAP.

As such, the challenge from PKR Youth Chief Shamsul Iskandar Akin to Umno amend the federal constitution to guarantee the PM would always be a Malay struck a raw nerve.

"Yes, Shamsul turned the tables on Umno. Umno is always going on and on about being the champion of the Malays. Let's see how far they dare to push this narrow, racist strategy. It is good and timely for the Umno general assembly to awake to the 'sandiwara' of their leaders. Let's see what excuses Najib and Muhyiddin come up with," PKR vice president Tian Chua told Malaysia Chronicle.

"Let all Malaysians see whether they dare to ignore the fact that Malaysia is multiracial or that Umno thinks that it can go solo without the non-Malays. This is crunch time for Umno. Umno has to show its real face to the Malays and this is why Soi Lek is bending over backwards to try and save it the embarrassment of having to reply."

Tian was referring to Prime Minister Najib Razak and his deputy Muhyiddin Yassin.

"Evil" racism inherent in Umno

Should Umno brush aside the other voices in the BN, including MCA and the non-Malay Bumiputera parties from East Malaysia, and try to push through such an amendment, neither PKR nor Pakatan Rakayat will support the move, the opposition coalition has said.

Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim, who is also the PKR de-facto head, has made this clear. DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng has also acknowledged that this was Pakatan policy.

The brouhaha came about after the BN media tried to stir up negative news against the Pakatan to further scare the Malays that they would suffer if the opposition won the federal government.

At the PKR annual congress, Shamsul had dared Umno to state that the prime minister must be Malay because “history shows Umno is willing to sell out everything.”

“To ensure that the last Malay stronghold, that its political power is not traded away by Umno, we challenge Umno to amend the Federal Constitution to insert conditions and guarantees that the prime minister must be Malay. The excuse that the post is held by a Malay because Umno is in power cannot be accepted. To cover up their evil, those who question them are accused of betraying Malays,” Shamsul had said.

“It is a challenge because Umno keeps talking about Malays, Malays, Malays. If Umno is really committed, then we want to see if they dare to do what they talk about in Malay villages,” Anwar had said at a joint press conference with Shamsul.

Running-scared MCA dares to ask Pakatan but not Umno

Yet MCA Youth leaders had a day ago challenged Pakatan to name a non-Malay PM.

“If PKR and DAP are really indeed multi-racial political parties, why not announce PKR information chief Tian Chua as their candidate for prime minister with DAP national chairman Karpal Singh as the deputy prime minister?” MCA Youth vice-chairman Yoo Wei How said in a statement.

“Therefore, it is a lie that these two parties are multi-racial as claimed and they are in fact deceiving the people simply in order to gain the votes so that they can take over the federal government."

Pakatan leaders returned fire, flaying him for his "stupid" comments, asking him why he did not dare to ask Najib to make Soi Lek, or G Palanivel the deputy prime minister.

"Yes, before they ask Pakatan, MCA should first of all ask Umno. Malaysians of all races should also ask why MCA, MIC, Gerakan and all the East Malaysian parties never asked for greater power sharing from Umno - not even DPM posts. Was MCA running scared?" said Tian.

Most guilty

At the PKR meet, the BN media knives were all out for the party, with Anwar the main target as he is seen to be the glue that binds the Pakatan coalition. Anwar is also well-known and well accepted by the international community, a major point of discontent and jealousy with former premier Mahathir Mohamad and now Najib Razak.

"During the PPKR congress, we had the BN press accusing us and Pakatan of lacking issues and resorting only to attacking BN. Yet, PKR president Wan Azizah unveiled a minimum household income of RM4,000 per month which Umno-BN have never ever dared to," said Tian.

"When it comes to attacking and slamming other parties and lacking issues of its own, it is the MCA and Umno who are the most guilty of this. Furthermore, they are the ones who now hold the reins of power. It is scary how little work BN does as the government of the day."

Malaysia Chronicle

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