I have checked with another reporter who was present at the dinner who confirmed that I had never made such a statement in my speech. I had mentioned the figure of 100 parliamentary seats to show that the MCA President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik was more than a decade behind time when he thought that 90 parliamentary seats would have been enough to form the government in Malaysia. There are now 193 Parliamentary seats and to win a simple a majority, some 100 seats would be required - or to be exact 97 seats.
I made this reference in connection with Liong Sik’s statement in Kota Bahru last week alleging that I had stated in Parliament that the Opposition would win 90 parliamentary seats in the next general elections and form the next government.
I do not know where Liong Sik get his sources of information as he is hardly in Parliament. In any event, I never made such a statement, and in my speeches both inside and outside Parliament, I had consistently maintained that what is feasible and achievable in the next general elections would be the deprivation of the traditional parliamentary two-thirds majority of the Barisan Nasional - or the Barisan Nasional losing between 65 - 80 seats to the Opposition.
Former Deputy Prime Minister, Ghafar Baba said in Penang yesterday that he was confident that UMNO and its component parties would still enjoy enough support to form the government after the next general election, although their majority might be slightly reduced because of the political problems.
I agree that the Barisan Nasional would still form the next national government, although the majority may be greatly reduced because of the serious erosion of public support for the Barisan Nasional government and its policies in the past three years and the nationwide demand for change and reform.