Barisan Nasional (BN) component party MIC today demanded that Umno name its candidate for prime minister before seeking to negotiate seats for the next general election with its partners in the coalition.
MIC vice-president Sivarraajh Chandran said neither his party nor MCA were “yes-men”, adding that their loyalty to BN had its limits.
“Please answer the question raised by the MIC president,” he said, referring to SA Vigneswaran who had brought up the matter yesterday.
“Who is BN’s prime minister candidate for the 15th general election? Decide on the answer first, before touching on your component partners or negotiating seats on behalf of MIC and MCA.
“Don’t assume that all things need to and will happen according to your wishes,” he said in a statement today.
Sivarraajh was responding to a Puteri Umno leader who had suggested that MIC allow Umno to contest the Sungai Siput parliamentary constituency, a seat traditionally allocated to the Indian party.
In his statement, he said if Umno felt that it was strong enough on its own and did not need the support of MIC and MCA, it should contest GE15 under its own logo instead of BN’s.
He also suggested that the Cameron Highlands seat be “returned” to MIC, saying he had won it in the 2018 polls.
“Other previous MIC candidates won, too. Why, after the Cameron Highlands by-election, would Umno want to retain the seat even though the initial agreement was just to borrow it?”
The Cameron Highlands by-election in 2019 was won by Umno’s Ramli Mohd Nor with a comfortable majority of over 3,000.
It was BN’s first victory in the five by-elections held since losing power to Pakatan Harapan in the general election.
Sivarraajh today warned the top Umno leadership against arrogance.
“Stop demanding all the seats as if you can win them all. The Umno leadership should learn how to respect its partners,” he added.