|BN's most senior partner says Taib does not enjoy the support of all communities and as such should pass the baton to someone else now.|
PETALING JAYA : MCA, the second biggest component party in the Barisan Nasional, today called for Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud to step down immediately for failing to command the support of all communities in the state.
The party’s vice-president, Senator Gan Ping Sieu, said that despite achieving a two-thirds victory in the state polls last week, Taib nevertheless failed to garner the support of the Chinese community who makes almost half of the state’s electorate.
“Despite having helmed Sarawak for 30 years, for the first time in Sarawak political history, the Chinese community has rejected Taib Mahmud’s leadership,” said Gan, who is also a Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports.
This is the first time a BN component party member has openly asked for Taib to step down from his post.
In the run-up to the state election, Taib had come under tremendous pressure to step down after allegations of corruption started mounting against him, his family and cronies.
Even Najib’s administration was worried that the trend against Taib would cost votes for the BN. However just prior to the elections, Taib announced that he would be stepping down – most probably in the mid-term- after he had identified and guided a new team of young leaders.
Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak further stressed upon this by promising voters that Taib would go in the next couple of years.
In the state polls, Taib’s party PBB won all 35 seats they contested and along the way helped the state BN to retain the two thirds in the state assembly. Taib was sworn in as the chief minister on the polling night itself and he has yet to announce his successor.
MCA backs SUPP
However Sarawak’s biggest Chinese-based party, SUPP suffered heavy defeats, including the humbling of party president and deputy chief minister George Chan by a DAP greenhorn.
DAP managed to eat into all of SUPP’s areas which were largely the urban and Chinese-majority seats.
“Leaders of BN must command the support of all communities irrespective of ethnicity.
“Although Sarawak BN emerged victorious and retained its two-thirds majority to stay in power, it is obvious that the Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud no longer wields support from Chinese voters,” said Gan.
The MCA man added that in the absence of overall support from the various ethnic groups in Sarawak and as a Barisan Nasional senior leader, Taib “should consider passing the baton to another BN leader as soon as possible”.
Gan also supported SUPP’s principled stand to decline to accept any state cabinet positions following their electoral setback.
“They have a lot of good leaders. Despite SUPP’s severe electoral setback, I am confident SUPP will not give up its political cause in Sarawak and will continue to serve the people,” he added.
DAP playing up racial sentiment
He also criticised DAP for their communal political strategy.
“During the campaign period, DAP instigated the Sarawakians by portraying SUPP as Taib Mahmud’s thugs.
“After the elections, MCA had suggested that SUPP Chinese Aduns should consider not joining the state cabinet.
“DAP deliberately create a fear of punishment within the Chinese community and misled the Chinese community that MCA is intimidating voters,” he said, adding that DAP was playing up racial sentiment in Chinese community.
He added that MCA’s stand on the matter was plain and clear.
“If PM’s BN leadership and transformation plans that MCA is supporting are rejected by Chinese community in the coming general election, we will consider our position in the line-up of federal and state governments, as the case may be,” he added.