PETALING JAYA (June 9, 2013): Umno supreme council member Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said Barisan Nasional (BN) should not allow talk of "Chinese political tsunami" to continue to foment, and should instead study how to regain the lost Chinese votes, he said.
According to a report in China Press today, Saifuddin noted there has been a vote drain for BN in every election. For example, he said, BN lost a lot of Malay votes in 1999, many Indian votes in 2008 and Chinese votes in the recent 13th general election.
But when BN lost a lot of Malay votes in 1999, it was with the strong support of Chinese voters that the coalition was able to secure a mandate, he added.
"Since 2004, BN's majority in Parliament has been reduced.
"To remain in power, BN leaders must listen to the voice of the people, such as in regard to the coming exercise to redelineate electoral boundaries," he said during a dialogue with the Chinese community in Malacca on Friday, the first between an Umno supreme council member and local Chinese leaders.
The former deputy higher education minister and former Temerloh MP said the country faces three realities: alternative media, the rise of new society and the rise of new politics.
"These are realities the country's leaders cannot ignore or take lightly.
"For example, the rise of alternative media provides the public easy access to information; and the rise of new society allows people to think out of the box," he said.
He also said the rise of new politics means more people will think independently.
The people have progressed to the "third stage" of democracy, where they not just vote but take part in nation building, he said, adding that the nation's leaders should also change accordingly to continue to win the support of the people.