AYER HITAM: There is no need for political candidates and their supporters to resort to using racial and religious elements against one another, says MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong.

“Though it is normal for politicians to face animosity and negative comments from the public, my advice for all is to stay calm,” said Dr Wee, who is defending the Ayer Hitam parliamentary seat in Johor.

“Personally, it is not my style to play on such issues, and I call on everyone to contest in a gentlemanly manner,” he said.

He was responding to his opponent, Sheikh Umar Bagharib Ali of DAP, who claimed on Facebook that Barisan Nasional supporters threw racial slurs at him after Nomination Day on Saturday.

“I am not sure what exactly happened as I was not involved in the incident,” Dr Wee said at a press conference after attending an anti-drugs programme in Ayer Hitam.

“In my time as a politician all these years, I have been frequently attacked, but we just have to smile and take it in our stride.

“However, I will not attack others this way. The voters are smart enough to judge the candidates for themselves,” he said.

Meanwhile, MCA secretary-general Datuk Chong Sin Woon urged members not to breach the party’s code of conduct.

“To contest for a rival party, to stand as an Independent, or to serve as their nominee, seconder, or agent would subject oneself to expulsion,” he said.

“Prior to Nomination Day, three members quit the party while one was expelled. After Nomination Day, four others were sacked for becoming contenders for parliamentary seats, while five ran for state seats under banners not associated with MCA,” he said.

Chong also said that the election operations rooms of all MCA divisions had been activated and would mobilise support for Barisan candidates.

Setting aside any misgivings over seat allocation or candidate selection would serve the greater good of the coalition and the nation, he added.