MCA President and Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Dr. Ling Liong Sik said that when Zhu's visit was decided, no one knew then that a general election would be held.
Liong Sik is half right, as Mahathir knew that when he dissolved Parliament and called for a snap general election, the Chinese premier is scheduled to visit Malaysia in the midst of the election campaign.
The Barisan Nasional government has only itself to blame if the timing of the tenth general election during the Chinese premierís scheduled visit is regarded as playing the Chinese card to woo Chinese voters for the Barisan Nasional, for this is what the Barisan Nasional had been doing in the past 25 years when Tun Razakís handshake with Mao Tse Tung was used as the main election ploy in the 1974 general election.
Malaysiaís national honour and dignity will be affected if the Chinese premierís visit is politicised in any manner in the election campaign, whether directly or indirectly.
I am prepared to meet Mahathir and suggest how Zhu Rongjiís visit could be handled in a manner which would not affect Malaysiaís national honour and dignity or embarrass the Chinese premier.