‘New friend’ will help party re­gain strength in GE14, says Zahid

New Straits Times - - News -


BARISAN Na­sional is ex­pected to gain re­newed strength from a “new friend” that can help it re­gain the two-thirds ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment in the 14th Gen­eral Elec­tion, Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said yes­ter­day.

With­out nam­ing this “new friend”, he said Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Na­jib Razak was work­ing hard and was com­mit­ted to trans­lat­ing the co­op­er­a­tion with wis­dom and un­der­stand­ing.

“They may have been our en­emy in the past but in pol­i­tics, there are no per­ma­nent friends or per­ma­nent en­e­mies. If we can strengthen the re­la­tion­ship (with the new friend), there should be no rea­son for us to fail in the gen­eral elec­tion.

“We will not only boost our strength in Tereng­ganu but in other states as well, and we will not only get back the two-thirds ma­jor­ity in Par­lia­ment but also en­sure con­ti­nu­ity (of BN’s rule),” he said when open­ing the Tereng­ganu State-Level Umno Branches Clus­ter Meet­ing.

Zahid, who is also Umno vi­cepres­i­dent, said the Malays still needed Umno. He said this was in­di­cated by the fact that 4.1 mil­lion of 5.5 mil­lion Malay vot­ers (78.7 per cent) sup­ported Barisan Na­sional.

“The Malays still love Umno and Umno will con­tinue to serve them. How­ever, there are quar­ters that are out to di­vide the Malays.

“We will lose some friends, but we will gain new friends,” he said, while hint­ing that the govern­ment would ta­ble the bill to amend the Syariah Courts (Crim­i­nal Ju­ris­dic­tion) Act 1965, also known as Act 355 or RUU355, dur­ing the cur­rent Par­lia­ment ses­sion.

“The prime min­is­ter is com­mit­ted to trans­lat­ing this to gain re­newed strength through the sup­port of a new friend,” he said.

He said all Umno mem­bers must be ready for the next gen­eral elec­tion and not wait for the prime min­is­ter to an­nounce the dis­so­lu­tion of Par­lia­ment.

“We have a lot of en­ergy but we do not want to ex­haust it be­fore the fin­ish line. As such, I hope all Umno mem­bers will work hard to de­fend the party (BN) at the fed­eral level and re­gain lost seats at the state level.

“Ap­proaches adopted by the party ma­chin­ery must have zero de­fects. Stop bick­er­ing, al­though I know there are prob­lems in the di­vi­sions. Prob­lems ex­ist, but we have to be fo­cused on win­ning the gen­eral elec­tion.

“We can have dif­fer­ent views, but we need to mind our man­ners.

“We have had close calls in the 12th and 13th Gen­eral Elec­tions. We nearly failed not be­cause the op­po­si­tion was strong, but be­cause we were weak­ened by con­flict.

“Lead­ers must not take things for granted. You have to lis­ten to the voices from the grass­roots. You must not re­spond to prob­lems raised only when Par­lia­ment is dis­solved. It will be a bit too late to show that you care, and don’t com­plain if you are not cho­sen by the peo­ple,” he added.

On the as­sas­si­na­tion of Kim Jong-nam, the es­tranged half­brother of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, Zahid, who is also home min­is­ter, praised the quick ac­tion by the po­lice in ap­pre­hend­ing the sus­pects within 24 hours.

He said Malaysia would take care of North Kore­ans banned from leav­ing the coun­try as long as Py­ongyang con­tin­ued to look after the nine Malaysians in North Korea.

“The sit­u­a­tion is un­prece­dented in our coun­try. We have to be firm and care­ful in all our ac­tions. While ne­go­ti­a­tions are on­go­ing , I have to be care­ful with my words. I would like to urge the peo­ple to be united at this time.”


Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi at the open­ing of the Tereng­ganu StateLevel Umno Branches Clus­ter Meet­ing.

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