KUALA LUMPUR- The Barisan Nasional, a coalition of 13 parties, has proven to be the better choice than the disunited three-party Pakatan Rakyat, said Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
"We see in Selangor how the political understanding that they tried to build with just three parties has been shattered.
"We are more successful because we genuinely believe in power sharing and cooperation among the races," the Barisan chief said when opening the 6th annual general assembly of the Malaysian Makkal Sakti party here yesterday.
Formed in 2009, Makkal Sakti is one of the 12 associate members of Barisan.
The Prime Minister said that while the ruling coalition had remained united, DAP, PKR and PAS that formed the opposition front were fighting over the choice of Selangor mentri besar.
He said Pakatan's failure to emulate Barisan's unity showed that they could not be viewed as a viable alternative that could be trusted to run the country.
"We may have a choice but we must be careful because imitation goods are never as good as the genuine item," Najib said to the applause of the delegates who packed the Merdeka Hall of the Putra World Trade Centre.
Advising Barisan component parties to remain focused on their top priority, which was to get voter support, he said: "We cannot feel envious or jealous of each other. We must not feel this is a zero sum game, meaning that if the Barisan leadership helps one group it will be at the expense of another.
"We must help all parties in our family, because if a group supports us then Barisan must repay this debt."
Najib said Barisan's strength was its inclusive and flexible nature.
He said while a consensus among all Barisan members was required before a new component party could be admitted, the "Barisan Nasional Plus Plus (BN++)" policy allowed new parties to join as associate members.
"If we do not have this arrangement, many groups which want to support Barisan may not have an opportunity because full membership requires consensus," said Najib.
He thanked Makkal Sakti for its support, saying he considered himself "father" to all in the Barisan family.
As such, Najib said he needed to balance everyone's interests when considering their respective requests to him.
In his speech, Makkal Sakti president Datuk R.S. Thanenthiran made several requests to the Government.
These include appointing a deputy minister from the party, appointing a party representative to the Cabinet Committee on Indian Affairs and a RM50mil allocation for the party to carry out aid programmes.