KOTA KINABALU: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Datuk VK Liew opined that the poor performance of some Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties in recent general elections does not appear to justify for a formation of a single party, within BN.
He asserted that instead all component parties were united by the reality that all were distinct and individual parties within BN.
Citing historical backgrounds of BN to back up his view, Liew said: “When we look at how BN was formed in the early 1970s to replace the then Alliance, we know that each component party operated to all intent and purpose, as a single separate party whose membership is communal”.
“That is to say, each component party represented the interests of a particular race or community in Malaysia. However, BN acts only as a single party during election where candidates of all component parties stand under the BN symbol and campaign under the BN manifesto although each component party also issued its own manifesto.
“The success of the respective party is then measured in terms of their ability to achieve the essentially parochial demands of their constituents and how many constituencies can they win in a general election,” he told Bernama, here, yesterday.
Liew was asked to comment on Gerakan’s recent call for BN to become a single multiracial party.
“We must not forget that the relevance of some of the communal representation in a multiracial country such as ours (LDP) appear to be still very important. And a Government that has the representation of the various communities in a multiracial society is more effective than if the Government is only dominated by a single community.
“Our country is unlike many other countries where there is a dominance of a single race and the minorities are kept at bay resulting in conflicts when their interests are ignored. We, as a nation with so many ethnicity, have evolved since independence and the interests of some communities are looked after by the respective component parties,” he said.
Liew said a single BN party might also probably create divisions in the government that might lead to quagmire on issues, especially those issues concerning the minority interests or a particular community in the country.
“There will be no room in the middle as some communal issues are best handled by the respective communities. No doubt, like in every system of political parties, there are pros and cons.
“And having looked at the multiracial make up of our society and the historical background of the nation, a coalition of political parties such as what we have now has given the voters more choices with more room to manoeuvre, in matters of communal interests,” he said.
Liew said there were issues that existed in the coalition whereby some partners felt marginalised but matters such as this could be rectified without having to compromise on the objectives of BN. — Bernama