BALAKONG: DAP chairman Tan Kok Wai yesterday challenged MCA to leave the Barisan Nasional (BN) if it loses in the Balakong state by-election on Sept 8.
He said the DAP would consider accepting MCA if it wanted to join Pakatan Harapan (PH) in the future.
“They should join us in PH if they lose in the by-election if they agree with the PH principles and want to join us.
“We will consider accepting MCA as a component party on condition they quit BN first,” he told reporters after a walkabout with PH candidate Wong Siew Ki here yesterday.
On Thursday, MCA secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan was quoted by the media as saying the outcome of the Balakong by-election would determine MCA’s future in BN.
MCA vice-president Datin Paduka Chew Mei Fun, who is director of the MCA Balakong by-election campaign, had admitted that it was difficult to wrest the seat from PH.
Tan said MCA’s decision to use its own logo in the Balakong by-election was a clear indication that it was no longer in sync with BN.
“They once said that they would leave BN if Umno collaborated with PAS. Now, that is clear, so why are they keeping quiet?
“MCA also invited other opposition parties to work with it in the by-election campaign here and in Seri Setia. Which other party is it if not PAS? It has deviated, as did BN component party UMNO when it allowed the Act 355 (Hudud) to be tabled in Parliament under the BN government,” he said.
Tan, who is the Cheras MP, said any party based on race and religion could not exist in this country as it could cause disunity.
“Malaysia is a multi-racial country. If race-based parties continue to exist, they could affect the harmony and unity among the people as they are only looking out for themselves,” he said.
Meanwhile, the PH candidate for Balakong, Wong Siew Ki, expects more than 60 per cent of the voters to go to the polls on Sept 8.
“Although we are expecting 60 per cent, the election machinery is targeting to get at least 80 per cent because we are working very hard to coax them to vote. The response is very encouraging,” he said.
In the Balakong by-election, which is being held following the death of its assemblyman Eddie Ng Tien Chee in a road accident on July 20, Tan will face Pakatan Harapan candidate Wong Siew Ki.
In the 14th general election, Ng defeated Barisan Nasional candidate Lim Chin Wah and Mohamad Ibrahim Ghazali of PAS by a majority of 35,538 votes. – Bernama