One of the main issues which needs to be resolved if BN is to wage a lone battle in the next general election is who will be the prime minister candidate, according to MIC president SA Vigneswaran.
“If you are going to war, you need a captain.
“Who will be the poster boy for BN? This needs to be resolved. We cannot go for the election under a flag without a captain,” he told Malaysiakini this evening.
Vigneswaran said this is among the questions which would be raised by delegates at MIC’s annual general assembly on April 3.
Party delegates would like to know what is our stand, and if (we would remain) with BN, who will be the next prime minister? These are questions that must be answered,” he added.
Vigneswaran was responding to Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who said he would lead BN, which is now supporting the Perikatan Nasional government, on a solo quest for power in the next general election.
The MIC president said his party is expected to contest under the BN banner in the coming national polls but emphasised the need for a clear direction.
“As of now, we will contest under BN… As far as MIC is concerned, we are with BN. But in BN, we must have a clear road as to how we are going for the election,” he added.
‘Like Umno, we will decide on what is best for us’
Noting that Umno has made a decision with regard to its relationship with Bersatu based on what it thinks is best for Umno, Vigneswaran said other BN parties would do the same as well.
“MIC will make a decision whether to work with Bersatu or not, our own decision.
“…So everybody is now going to make their decision which is good for their respective party. MCA will have to make a decision, and MIC will make a decision.
“And we will see how we will put it together and openly stay together,” he added.
MIC president SA Vigneswaran pointed out that the just concluded Umno general assembly has left some unanswered questions, including the possibility of working with Bersatu, DAP, or Anwar Ibrahim after the election.
When contacted by Malaysiakini, Vigneswaran (photo, above) urged Umno to make its position clearer on whether the party or BN will cooperate with any of them post-election.
“You ( Zahid Hamidi or Umno) said before the election, no Bersatu, no DAP, no Anwar, but what about after the election? These are the questions that Umno must answer.
So after the election, will he work with DAP? Can he work with Anwar? Can he work with Bersatu? These are unanswered questions from the (Umno) AGM,” he said.
Meanwhile, Vigneswaran also pointed out that cooperation between Umno and PAS remained unclear.
“Is PAS going to work with Umno? Or is it still going to stay in Perikatan Nasional?
“If Umno can accept PAS to be in PN and work with Umno, then it is opening a flat gap to other parties in BN.
“Umno said it would work with PAS, and PAS is in PN. If Umno can work PAS in PN, how is Umno going to tell others you cannot work with Bersatu in PN?”
The MIC chief also asked who would be the BN prime minister candidate if Umno decides to go solo in the next general election.
Don’t stand at the junction and don’t know where to turn’
Therefore, Vigneswaran urged Umno to resolve all unanswered questions and take a clear stance.
“Go one way or another, don’t stand at the junction and don’t know where to turn, turn right or turn left. The country’s economy is going down,” he said.
Vigneswaran also revealed that these questions have been raised by MIC delegates and expected to be discussed in the coming MIC AGM this Saturday.
However, he said the final decision of MIC’s alignment would not be finalised during the AGM but to be made after all these questions are resolved.
He viewed that Umno has decided based on “what they think is good for Umno”, so MIC would make decisions for whatever is good for itself too.
Umno has maintained its stand on temporary cooperation with Bersatu until the next general election, and it refused to join the officially registered PN.
Previously, MIC was among five parties that formally registered to join PN but later, it withdrew its application.