Gerakan deputy president Cheah Soon Hai branded former Finance Minister Daim Zainuddin “stupid” for calling on the Barisan Nasional government to forsake Chinese votes and focus on the Malay votes, saying that such move will only endanger the ruling coalition.
Cheah told FMT that said it was easier for Barisan Nasional to recapture the Chinese votes than to increase the already saturated Malay votes.
“Our Malay votes have already reached its peak and the bumiputras now don’t have the feeling of the old days when their rights were being threatened and needed protection from the BN.
“Even if the table is turned and Pakatan becomes the government, the Malays know the prime minister will safeguard their rights.
“If the Chinese are pushed further, then the opposition will only need to get 45% of the Malay votes in order to form the government,” he said.
The Kedah-based leader noted that the opposition would never get less than 30% of the Malay votes because there were always people disgruntled with the government. .
“In the last round, the opposition got about 40% of the Malay votes. If BN does not work on the Chinese votes and all other races support Pakatan, BN will lose power in the next general election,” he said.
Cheah urged his Umno colleagues to ignore Daim’s statement and continue to be inclusive.
Daim, a respected former finance minister, told a closed-door meeting in Kedah last week that the government had spent too much resources on the futile attempt to lure the Chinese.
He said the Chinese would not come back to BN’s fold and it would be better for the government to take care of the Malays.
Problems are not communal
He also said BN risked losing power if they continued to implement unpopular policies such as increasing toll fares.
MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong said the Chinese and the Malays might share the same set of problems in certain areas and it was impossible for the government to divide resources between ethnic groups.
“The problems plaguing the Klang Valley is not a Chinese problem alone because the Malays are also feeling the pinch. We are a multiracial society,” he said.
He also mirrored Cheah’s argument that it was hard for BN to increase Malay votes because it was closed to reaching the limit.
“Whereas for the Chinese votes in the worst case scenario we will always have 30%, except for the last GE,” he said.