IPOH: MCA places the stability of the country before anyone, even former party presidents, said party secretary-general Datuk Seri Ong Ka Chuan.
While he respects former party president Tun Dr Ling Liong Sik, he said the latter's views in asking Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to step down would not benefit the country.
"I respect Tun as a leader but we have the party, the society and the country to manage.
"Life goes on. We place importance on stability and our country. It's nothing personal," he told journalists after opening the 23rd Tai Chi 18 Exercise at SM Shen Jai here yesterday.
Ong said Dr Ling's remarks were his personal views and it had nothing to do with MCA.
"He was a former party president but his views are not of MCA's.
"We respect his right as an individual to say anything. We are a democratic country," he added.
Asked whether Dr Ling's comment would influence party members, Ong said: "To say there would be no influences will be not true.
"We will need to manage and stabilise the situation," he said.
On Deputy Agriculture and Agro-based Industry Minister Datuk Seri Tajuddin Abdul Rahman's remark to lempang (slap) the Chinese, Ong said Barisan Nasional component party leaders should not openly quarrel with each other.
"What's the benefit of openly bashing one another?
We have our own forum that we can thrash out," he said.
Ong said all Barisan leaders, including ministers, should refrain from saying things that could hurt the feelings of the people.
"It makes us look bad. This is already a challenging time for us.
"Why create controversial situations that make people angry and create a negative perception of us?" he said.
Ong also called on Tajuddin to apologise if he had made the remark.
"If he uttered it, just apologise. If he didn't, just clarify.
"It's not good for Barisan if we want to continue to be the ruling government," he said.
"We should all speak positively of the country."