Yet again, another warlord in UMNO, in total arragonce, is telling the non-Malays off, that the party do not need their votes. But when they lose the election, every Tom, Dick and Harry in UMNO will be baying for the non-Malay blood, calling them ungrateful and if they don't like this country, they can get lost, etc. I thought after GE12, a person like Johari would have learn a thing or two to be more "sopan santun" towards the other races. Apparently, he has not learned anything, and he will lose Titiwangsa again.Titiwangsa Umno division acting chief Johari Abdul Ghani has come under fire from his party colleagues and Barisan Nasional leaders over his statement that Chinese and Indian votes are not needed. The leaders felt that Johari's statement went against the principles of Barisan Nasional and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak's 1Malaysia concept.
In his speech during a closed-door division meeting, which was posted on YouTube, Johari had said that Umno could take the Titiwangsa seat if it could convince 70% of the Malay voters to back the party.
If this could be done, he said, there was no need for Chinese and Indians votes.
Disagreeing with this, Kepong Umno division chief Rizuan Abdul Hamid said although the majority of voters in Titiwangsa were Malays, Chinese and Indian votes would be a deciding factor.
"Johari should not have made the statement but I believe it was his personal stand. It does not reflect the party's stand," he told FMT.
In view of this, Rizuan urged the Umno top leadership to act swiftly before the issue escalated into a major problem.
Meanwhile, Bandar Tun Razak Umno division chief Amil Salleh felt that Johari's statement could jeopardise BN's support among Chinese and Indian voters.
"If Johari's statement was to be followed, BN would not win in constituencies which have 20% to 30% non-Malay voters. The non-Malays will form half of the electorate in these constituencies... so we can't win.
"We have to remember that not all Malay voters support BN or Umno. Malay votes is split into three - Umno, PAS and PKR. He (Johari) must not put priority on his constituency alone, he must also consider other seats and look at the overall context," he added.
He said Umno, being the backbone of BN, must explain Johari's statement to the non-Malays and ensure that the non-Malays realise that it was a personal statement and not the party's stand.
Johari and Umno secretary general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor could not be reached for comment.
Kayveas: Be inclusive, not exclusive
Yesterday, MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek slammed Johari, saying that some grassroots leaders in Umno were not bright and should not be fielded as candidates.
Concurring with this, PPP president M Kayveas said that it was unwise for any politician to claim that he or she did not need the support of a particular ethnic group.
He told FMT that such an analysis had no place under the 1Malaysia concept.
“You must be inclusive, not exclusive. You must be careful about what you say, impressions like these will only cause problems for BN. Any candidate who feels that he does not need the support of any race, doesn't deserve to be a candidate.
“You are an MP for Malaysians, not only the Malays. The rule of the game is democracy, it does not mean you only take care of those who voted for you, you have to take care of everyone,” he said.
“He cannot even say this in terms of calculation, he can do mental arithmetic and not verbalise it. For BN, this is not acceptable, in election, every vote counts,” he added.
MIC deputy president G Palanivel said that if Johari had indeed made those remarks, “he is actually telling non-Malays that they don't have to support him”.
“They can freely vote for anybody they like. It is statements like these that will drive away non-Malay votes from BN,” he told FMT.
Gerakan Youth leader Tan Keng Liang also lambasted Johari, saying that the Umno leader should not try to be a “jaguh kampung” by only attempting to win Malay votes.
“He is a BN leader. It is a lesson to be learnt by Umno leaders, that even though your audience are just Malays, you cannot make statements that offend others,” he told FMT.
“He tries to clarify that his speech was taken out of context. He argues non-stop that it was a closed-door discussion. But he did not deny making the speech,” he added.
However, MIC vice-president M Saravanan, who is also Titiwangsa MIC chief, expressed support for Johari.
“I have spoken to him and he has told me that his statement was taken out of context. I accept his explanation. I have known him for many years and he is not a racist,” he said.