KOTA BELUD – A coalition led by consensus, which has been the main thrust of the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership in governing the country since the country’s independence, has kept BN strong and relevant until today, said Communications and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak.
He said although other countries such as the Netherlands (between Protestants and Catholics), Belgium (among French-speaking Walloons with Dutch-speaking Flemish), Lebanon (between Shia, Sunni and Maronite Christians), Northern Ireland (between Catholics and Protestants), Bosnia Herzegovina (between Muslims, Croats and Serbs), and Macedonia (between Slavs and Albanians) were also practicing politics of consensus, they were unable to compete with that of BN.
“However, none of these countries can match the political success of BN’s consensus, considering the social structure in Malaysia is far more complex than in those countries.
“What is the formula for Malaysia’s success? Firstly, BN is not merely a coalition of political parties representing various ethnicities, but also a political consensus that is holistic and integrative, and not only within the peninsula, but throughout Malaysia.”
Salleh, who is also UMNO Treasurer, said this when launching the Kota Belud BN election machinery at the Datuk Haji Jamli Hall today. All Kota Belud BN component party leaders attended the event.
According to Salleh, BN’s political consesus had also encouraged active cooperation at the grassroots-level, and not just among the top leadership.
“The strength of BN’s consensus lies with its lynchpin party, UMNO, which has succeeded in establishing strong cooperation with all the component parties.
“The success of BN led by UMNO has led to the opposition trying to plagiarise the formula, however none of their coalitions have survived, such as the Angkatan Perpaduan Ummah (APU), Gagasan Rakyat and Pakatan Rakyat (PR). Why? Firstly because the opposition parties did not share the same dream and their political ideologies differ greatly from each other.
“Secondly, they only depend so much on the personality of one leader. For example, APU relied on Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, PR depended on Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, and now, Pakatan Harapan (PH) also depends on Tun Mahathir (Mohamad).
“Thirdly, the opposition pact does not have a dominant party to lead, like UMNO does in BN,” said Salleh.
Therefore, said Salleh, BN was the only political coalition with a strong consensus.
He said the BN consensus during Najib’s era was the best, due to his prowess as a multiculturalist transformative leader.
Najib’s leadership approach, he said, had enabled UMNO and BN to receive the support of all Malaysians, regardless of their ethnicity, religion, age, or demographics, adding that it would lead to a comfortable win for the coalition in the 14th general election. – BERNAMA