Typical of his direct manner in getting straight to the point, former Tourism and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz has basically told Gerakan's youth leader that if he wants Barisan Nasional (BN), he can have it.
The issue cropped up after it was highlighted in local media that Gerakan youth leader Andy Yong had proposed that the BN coalition should vote on whether to expel UMNO instead.
In response, Nazri brushed off the threat by pointing out that BN was "gone", he told FMT.
“I think we (Umno) want to be alone in the Peninsular. Gerakan is finished and if they want BN they can take it.
“Being in BN with Gerakan and being totally rejected by the rakyat is a huge burden,” he added, turning the accusation around to BN's other coalition partners poor performance which he said made it difficult for UMNO to defend its support for the coalition.
“Parties like MIC, MCA, and Gerakan have been defeated so badly and it would be impossible for them to rise again in such a short time.
“If they can’t rise again then how is BN supposed to function? We need to accept the fact that BN is gone,” Nazri, who is still the incumbent Padang Rengas MP, points out.
Yesterday, after news of Sarawak parties officially announcing their intention to pull out of the BN coalition, Gerakan's Yong had suggested that BN hold a supreme council meeting to decide on whether to expel Umno instead.
“One needs to understand that BN doesn't belong to Umno but the component parties.
“It had been a mistake to allow Umno to dominate most of the high positions of BN in the past such as deputy chairperson, secretary-general, and treasurer-general,” he said in a statement to Malaysiakini.
In the recent 14th general elections, members of the BN coalition in the Peninsula performed dismally, with MIC garnering two seats, while MCA was down to only one Parliamentary seat and Gerakan did not manage to wrest a single seat.
However, UMNO still has 54 seats, which makes the party the largest single bloc when Parliament convenes in July.