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Barisan Nasional (BN) today pledged a smooth transition of power to Pakatan Rakyat (PR)

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KUALA LUMPUR ― Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders today pledged a smooth transition of power should Pakatan Rakyat (PR) defeat them in the coming polls but expressed fear that their rivals would not do the same and instigate violence.

They asked if PR would hold true to their promise to exercise restraint whether they failed or succeeded in wresting power, and not take to the streets to celebrate in a grand show of pomp and pageantry in victory.

“BN does not have a problem; it is not like we would go and burn down the country. BN will accept [defeat] openly. That is what democracy is. If we lose, we lose.

“We can try again another time,” Umno’s Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan told The Malaysian Insider.

“But I am more afraid of what would happen if they (PR) lose. Can PR promise that there would be no street in Malaysia on fire as a result of their demonstrations?” the Sabah BN secretary asked.

He said the ruling coalition has accepted defeats in past elections and shown its willingness to respect the process of democracy.

As examples, Abdul Rahman pointed out that the party had to concede defeat in Selangor, the country’s richest state, and Kelantan, which has been under PAS’s rule for over two decades now.

In Election 2008, BN lost its customary two-third majority in Parliament and five states ― Selangor, Penang, Perak, Kedah and Kelantan ― to the loose pact of DAP, PKR and PAS. It later regained Perak.

“There was no problem handing over those states,” Abdul Rahman said.

His party colleague, Pasir Salak MP Datuk Tajuddin Abdul Rahman, said all parties must accept any outcome of the polls if the election process is fair and free from irregularities.

The outspoken parliamentarian, however, accused the opposition of attempting to “psycho” Malaysians into believing that BN was not willing to relinquish power.

MIC vice-president Datuk SK Devamany agreed with his BN partners, but added that he could not see BN failing in the coming polls as Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s transformation programmes have received encouraging support from voters.

“But if it does happen, BN will accept [defeat] with an open heart. It’s not like we want to cause chaos and go down to the streets.

“The election results are always final… we will abide by it because we are a mature democracy,” said the Cameron Highlands MP.

Earlier today, Bernama Online quoted Umno secretary-general Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor as urging PR leaders to stand by their promise not to instigate a repeat of the bloody racial clashes of May 13, 1969.

He was referring to DAP MP Lim Kit Siang’s pledge yesterday that PR was willing to work with BN to prevent a repeat of the infamous event, which is said to have claimed the lives of nearly 2,000 Malaysians.

“I hope they (the opposition) will practise what they preach,” he was quoted as saying by the national news agency.

He also urged politicians across the divide against excessive victory celebrations as these may anger the supporters of the parties that lost in the polls.

“Whoever wins, please be calm, patient and not overly excited. When in such a state, it could go to your head and you could do something inappropriate.

“In the end, this would only destroy our multiracial society,” he said. – The Malaysian Insider