Is Tok Mat MIC’s Choice For PM?

OPINION By ASK Thevar | Friday 02 April 2021

KUALA LUMPUR – Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC) is said to prefer UMNO Deputy President, Datuk Seri Mohamad Hassan as Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Prime Minister candidate and poster boy for the next general election (GE15).

A source close to MIC leadership said the Indian-based party thought Mohamad, popularly known as Tok Mat, would be the right candidate to spearhead BN to a big poll victory.

The next MIC central working committee (CWC) meeting is expected to discuss it meticulously.

The source said MIC was not against candidature of other Umno stalwarts, such as former premier Datuk Seri Najib Razak or current UMNO President, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi. But MIC considers Tok Mat as the best choice under the circumstances as the former Menteri Besar of Negeri Sembilan had no known baggage.

“Tok Mat has no cases pending in court. He is not facing any trial or being hampered by any scandal. Moreover, he has the personality, capacity and strength to counter other Malay-based parties, hence Tok Mat is the preferred choice,” said the source.

Recently MIC President Tan Sri SA Vigneswaran demanded UMNO to announce the BN’s premier candidate and poster boy for GE15.

He said it was a major issue to be resolved if BN wanted to contest the GE15 on its own.

“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 stressed.

Maybe Vigneswaran was right to speak out his mind as many Malaysians too are eager to know BN’s Prime Minister candidate, who, conventionally and traditionally has been from UMNO all this while.

But Umno has not announced it’s choice of BN’s prime minister candidate although Ahmad Zahid has been designated to lead the coalition into the electoral battle.

UMNO has also decided not to work with Bersatu.

The country’s biggest Malay party has decided to contest together with its partners, MIC and MCA, solely under the BN flagship in GE15.

UMNO’s unilateral decision apparently made without consulting its BN partners had however irked MIC, prompting Vigneswaran’s riposte that MIC would independently decide on whether it would work with Bersatu in the election.

“It will be our own decision,” he pointed out.

Pull Out From BN?

MIC seems threatening to pull out from BN, isn’t it not?

But several MIC insiders said the party would not abandon BN or sever its long political relationship with UMNO.

After all, MIC is very much dependent on UMNO to deliver the Malay votes in the election.

It’s not overstatement to suggest that without UMNO’s vote bank, MIC could struggle in the poll.

Political blackmail too would not work for MIC if the party decides to withdraw from BN and join the ruling coalition, Perikatan Nasional (PN) in GE15.

MIC will be instantly replaced in BN by several other Indian-based parties who are eagerly waiting in the wings.

Thus the possibility of MIC withdrawing from BN does not rise.

“MIC is very much with BN. But it wants the premier candidature to be sorted out before anything else. Voters are eager to know too,” said a MIC insider.

The question now is who would be UMNO’s choice of prime minister candidate for BN?

BN partners must hold coalition leadership meeting and resolve the pressing issue sooner than later.

Malaysians are waiting. – New Malaysia Herald

Note: The opinion stated in the article is that of the writer’s and does not necessarily reflect the stand of the New Malaysia Herald.

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