The idea that Umno is being too dominant in Barisan Nasional (BN) is ridiculous, says Johor Baharu Umno division chief Datuk Shahrir Abdul Samad.

He said that if BN component parties thought that Umno was dominant, they must understand why it was so.

“Is it because the component parties themselves are weak, and what would be the solution to it? he asked, adding that the matter should not be used by the component parties to cover their weaknesses following the last general election results.

Shahrir, who is also Domestic Trade and Consumers Affairs Minister, said Umno could not reduce its power for the sake of providing a so-called “level playing field” for the component parties.

“By doing so, it would lead to BN losing everything to the opposition,” he said to reporters after opening the Johor Baharu division Puteri Umno delegates’ meeting, here today.

Shahrir was asked to comment on former MCA president Datuk Seri Ong Ka Ting’s statement that the people perceived Umno as being too dominant in BN, causing the ineffectiveness of the power sharing concept in the coalition.

Shahrir said the perception was created by the opposition parties as part of their efforts to weaken the support, especially among the non-Malays, for BN.

The Johor Baharu member of parliament did not rule out communication problems among BN component party leaders and suggested it to be rectified.

He reminded the BN component parties to appreciate Umno’s strength that had enabled the coalition to form a government at the federal level and that they must use Umno’s strength to strengthen themselves.

He also concurred with Prime Minister Datuk seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi that Umno was not a bully.