March 2008 GE results:

Barisan Nasional – 140 seats.

Pakatan Rakyat – 82 seats.

Out of the 140 seats won by BN, 79 seats belong to UMNO. In other words, the BN component parties consisting of MCA, MIC, Gerakan, PBB, SUPP, SPDP, PRS, UPKO, PBS, SAPP, PBRS and LDP hold 61 seats.

With the ISA detentions of RPK, Teresa Kok and Tan Hoon Cheng made essentially by UMNO’s appointed SHA in the Home ministry, what reactions can we see from members of the component parties?

a) Gerakan’s KTK said,

“Out of anger and disgust, some of our leaders have called for the use of the most stringent law.

But I agree with Rais that we should proceed with the Sedition Act and other laws first,” he said, referring to Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim’s statement on the subject.

Rais had stated on Thursday that Ahmad should not be detained under the ISA and hoped his case would go through the normal process of law. (more here and here).

b) MCA’s OTK’s take,

The MCA has expressed shock that former Bukit Bendera Umno division chairman Datuk Ahmad Ismail, who made racist remarks has not been taken to task but reporter Tan Hoon Cheng, who wrote about the incident, has been arrested instead.

“The perpetrator who vowed to conduct a nationwide roadshow on his remarks without any remorse is still at large,” MCA vice-president Datuk Ong Tee Keat said in a statement yesterday. (more here).

MCA’s OKT’s,

“We are here to serve the people. Before this, we served the community without blowing our trumpet.

“But after the general election, we know that the community not only wants to see us continue to serve them but also to speak up,” he pointed out. (more here).

From The Malaysian Insider aptly titled “An uphill task to justify ISA arrests” –

Malaysia’s Special Branch said that the racial tension in parts of the country and among certain groups in the last few days were coming close to the pre-Operation Lalang level and warned Home Affairs Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar that if nothing was done, the country would be on the brink of a disaster.

The Malaysian Insider has learnt that Syed Hamid briefed Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi on the intelligence reports by the Special Branch. (more here).

Suffice to say, any miscalculations on the part of the AAB’s administration will effectively further reduce public perception and acceptance of the government’s move to invoke the ISA. UMNO is presently going through a severe make-over from within and whatever decisions taken may appear to appease their grassroot members in view of the AI/UMNO 3-year suspension, and may negate efforts to uphold the rule of law in Malaysia.

Question is, if the internal problems of UMNO get worse, will BN component parties be held liable for the causes and effects which are not of their own doing (including the ISA arrests)? Loyalty to their own constituents should remain paramount as well as the peace and harmonious stability in this nation belonging to all Malaysians, not just the umnoputras.

Therefore, will the BN component parties stand up for the rights of the voting public and opt out of the BN coalition thereby creating the Third Front, as guardians for a better Malaysia, while UMNO goes into intensive care as soon as possible.

AI and Pakatan Rakyat can wait in the wings until the dust have settled for rational minds to come forth.

*For another view of the Third Front, read Kickdefella*

**Added reading on Grand Coalitions by Gerd Strohmeier**