con·tem·po·rar·y - Modern times in its generic sense, living, occurring, or existing, at the same time; often also used as a synonym for "modern" Ma·lay·sia - A country of southeast Asia consisting of the southern Malay Peninsula and the northern part of the island of Borneo.

By Tony Thien | May 13, 08 1:29pm

If Umno wants to save Barisan Nasional, it has to stop its tai ko (big brother) stance, especially with component parties in Sabah and Sarawak, said an academic based in Kuching.

The two states, especially
Sabah, have been trying to get federal attention to problems associated with illegal immigrants, who are deemed to pose a serious threat to security, welfare and livelihood of the local people.

The academic, who declined to be named, said increasingly critical parliamentarians from
Sabah have raised valid demands, but “federal leaders appear not to be interested”. He warned that
political allegiance could shift any time if this continues.

Kalabakan MP Abdul Ghapur Salleh (left), a former Sabah deputy chief minister, said yesterday that state leaders would have no qualms about switching parties - although not immediately to Pakatan Rakyat - or forming a new party in the interim.

Abdul Gh
afur had questioned why certain states - including Perak which the BN lost to Pakatan - have more representatives in the federal cabinet.

In a latest development, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) leader Yong Teck Lee, a former chief minister, said today that none of its two MPs would defect for now.

However, he did not discount the possibility of crossovers after August.

Sarawak leaders less vocal

Although Sarawak leaders have been less vocal, they appear to be no less unhappy with
Kuala Lumpur. Despite contributing 30 parliamentary seats to the federal BN's tally in the general election, they feel that they have not been given a fair share of cabinet representation.

“This is clearly a ‘big brother’ attitude, taking the best for themselves and leaving the crumbs to others,” noted a political observer.

Another analyst pointed to the way the Election Commission has listed the political parties in the table of election results. In spite of severe losses, the MCA and MIC are placed second and third after Umno.

The analyst said that the right order should be: Umno (79 seats), MCA (15), PBB (14), SUPP (6), PRS (6), SPDP (4), UPKO (4), MIC(3), PBS(3), SAPP (2), Gerakan (2), LDP (1) and PBRS (1).

The BN won 140 seats, while opposition parties improved their performance with an unprecedented 82 seats.