Barisan Nasional is made up of various partners founded on the principle of power sharing and no party can claim to be the sole proprietor of the coalition, said a MIC leader.
Therefore, S Vell Paari stressed that if Umno crossed the line then the other parties should come together to discuss the matter and find a solution.
In the past, he said Umno leaders had called for the withdrawal of component parties from BN whenever it was deemed that the line was not toed.
“So why is it that whenever a controversial issue arises concerning Umno it is the component parties which threaten to quit BN? This should not be the case.
“No one party has a monopoly in BN and decisions are based on consensus. Gone are the days of the ‘Big Brother’ syndrome,” he told FMT.
The MIC central working committee member also disagreed with the description of Umno being the backbone of BN, saying that the title belonged to the people.
The son of former MIC president S Samy Vellu was responding to the warning from MCA’s Young Professionals Bureau head Chua Tee Yong.
Tee Yong, the son of MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek, said his party would quit BN if Umno attempted to implement the Islamic hudud law.
He was reacting to Johor Umno state assemblyman Ayub Rahmat who suggested that hudud be implemented in the state to cover all races.
Ayub had put MCA in a spot as the hudud issue had been one of the Chinese-based party’s most potent weapon against its Chinese-predominated rival DAP over the latter’s association with the Islamic PAS.
Time to be more aggressive
Meanwhile, Vell Paari was confident that Umno would not push for the implementation of hudud but stated that the controversy necessitated certain points to be made clear.
He said MIC and MCA’s problem with Umno in the past was that its previous leaderships refused to acknowledge or even compromise with the two parties.
This, he noted, led to the inequality between the races, which in turn bred the resentment of the Chinese and Indian communities towards BN.
“I am not against the development of the majority but at the same time, the minorities should not have been left out in terms of education, employment and so forth,” he said.
However, Vell Paari said the situation was different now under the stewardship of Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak.
“He is a prime minister who is willing to listen and he even had the courage to apologise for the coalition’s past mistake. Whatever said and done, I respect the man for that,” he said.
On the same note, Vell Paari said MIC and MCA must be more aggressive in fighting for the rights of the communities which the parties represented.
“The hard and cold fact is that our respective communities chose to turn their backs on us because we were seen as toothless tigers. And true enough, we were bullied into a corner.
“We must make a stand to show that we are not second or third fiddle in BN and our leaders are not there to attend functions and savour the kuih alone,” he said.
Another Johor blow
He said it appeared that certain leaders in the southern state were adamant on tarnishing the prime minister’s progressive and moderate image.
Johor is the home state of Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, whom critics claim was the opposite of Najib with regard to being moderate.
For months, speculation had been rife that Muhyiddin and his supporters were on a campaign to oust the prime minister.
Last week, Johor Umno’s Sri Gading MP Mohamad Aziz courted controversy for himself as well as Najib when he questioned if Bersih co-chairperson S Ambiga should be hanged for treason.
Following this, there were allegations that Mohamad was acting on the instructions of Muhyiddin.
Quizzed on his views regarding this, Vell Paari chose to sidestep the matter but stressed that MIC should defend Najib against internal or external threats.