Amid Umno’s clamouring to contest in Tanjung Piai, MIC president SA Vigneswaran reportedly insisted that MCA should be retained to contest the seat under the BN ticket.
Vigneswaran (photo) said the opposition should take the Tanjung Piai by-election as an opportunity to prove its ability to form a government with leadership that comprises members of various races and religions.
In addition, he reportedly said BN needs to stand by its principle of fairness in maintaining race-based political cooperation.
“Don’t take the Tanjung Piai seat, since PAS has already declared its support for the MCA candidate. Umno also needs to prove its cooperation with PAS is not aimed to rob fellow component parties of their seats.
“No matter what the excuse, MIC wants BN to continue fielding MCA candidates for that seat,” Berita Harian quoted him as saying in a report today.
He reportedly expressed confidence that BN would make the “right” decision.
The Tanjung Piai seat traditionally saw contests between MCA and DAP since its creation, but DAP had stepped aside for Bersatu to contest instead in the 14th general election.
Pakatan Harapan chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad had indicated that the coalition would field a candidate from Bersatu in the by-election on Nov 16.
Previously, Umno grassroots leaders in Tanjung Piai have reportedly argued that the seat ought to be contested by an Umno candidate instead of MCA.
On Oct 5, Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi reportedly hinted that Umno may contest the seat.
"Umno and the Malays in Tanjung Piai want change. However, MCA also wants to maintain its tradition.
"However, we strongly believe that the BN spirit must be maintained. Therefore, a decision on whether Umno or MCA will contest must be made in solidarity and certainly the BN Supreme Council meeting is the proper platform for BN to decide the candidate for the Tanjung Piai by-election," Bernama quoted him as saying.