While Umno leaders have been on the offensive against tycoon Robert Kuok, Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi chose to take a more reserved position.
Giving a vague answer without naming names, Zahid emphasised the point of not causing offence.
"To me, we don't need to raise something that could cause a group or someone to be offended (terhentak hati) by the views.
"When someone is already at the international level, which should be respected, there is no need to side with one group," he was quoted as saying by Bernama at a Chinese New year open house event in Kuala Lumpur tonight.
Kuok is presently based in Hong Kong. Zahid was asked to respond to the controversy surrounding Kuok.
Umno leaders, including Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak, had criticised Kuok after blogger Raja Petra Kamaruddin alleged that the billionaire was funding the DAP.
Kuok had denied the allegation.
The most scathing attack came from Umno supreme council member Mohamed Nazri Abdul Aziz, who called Kuok a "pondan" (effeminate) and challenged him to renounce his Malaysian citizenship.
A handful of BN leaders, particularly from MCA, defended Kuok and cast doubt on Raja Petra's credibility.
MCA secretary-general Ong Ka Chuan also warned Umno's attacks against Kuok will not bode well for race relations.