PETALING JAYA (THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - Datuk Seri Nazri Aziz, who is Barisan Nasional's new secretary-general, says the former ruling coalition should change its name and rebrand itself to create new political dynamics.
"We need to be brave and courageous - just like what Tun Abdul Razak did after the 1969 general election. The Alliance Party was renamed and rebranded as Barisan Nasional. It was well-received," he said on Saturday (Oct 27).
The former tourism minister was responding to Barisan chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi's proposal to change the name and rebrand the coalition, in a bid to win the next general election.
The Padang Rengas MP said that the need came in view of the new political landscape and development in Sabah and Sarawak.
"Umno in Sabah is no longer in the ruling government. It has also joined Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS). Barisan does not exist in Sabah anymore," he said.
"Similar to Sabah, there is also no more Barisan in Sarawak," he said.
"Just like Pakatan Harapan; it was previously Pakatan Rakyat. We should sit down and discuss, to create new political dynamics," he said.
"We will start engaging with other component parties in Barisan, followed by other parties," he said, commenting on his plan as the new secretary-general of the party.
Barisan shrank from 13 parties to five after GE14 with Umno, Malaysian Chinese Association (MCA), Malaysian Indian Congress (MIC), myPPP and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.
It was reported earlier that Sabah Barisan was forming GBS, in anticipation of a High Court decision on Tan Sri Musa Aman's petition that he was the rightful chief minister.
Representatives from the component parties, comprising Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Sabah, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR Sabah) as well as independent candidates came together on Wednesday to announce the new alliance that has yet to be registered.
In June, all four Sarawak Barisan component parties - PBB, SUPP, PRS and PDP - left the coalition.
Meanwhile, MCA deputy president Wee Ka Siong said MCA will not hesitate to cut ties with Umno if it proceeds to partner with Parti Islam SeMalaysia (PAS) without prior discussions with Barisan Nasional component parties.
He said Umno or party president Zahid cannot make unilateral decisions on behalf of Barisan.
Dr Wee said there is no future for a mono-ethnic political path and Dr Zahid's decision will only lead Umno away from mainstream politics.
"And he will be remembered as the person who brings Umno and Barisan to an end. MCA cannot in good conscience walk with him on this path of self-destruction.
"We can only wish Dr Ahmad Zahid all the best if he insists on forming an alliance with PAS," he said in a Facebook posting on Sunday afternoon.
Dr Wee, who is also the MCA presidential candidate, said Barisan is a coalition based on the principle of consensus among its component partners and its fate does not lie in Umno's hands alone.