Ali Rustam: I will lead charge to recapture constituency
MALACCA: Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam has called for efforts to consolidate votes from within the Barisan Nasional coalition.
The Bukit Katil Umno chief and former Malacca chief minister said this was necessary before BN could launch an all-out effort to recapture the parliamentary constituency which he lost to PKR’s Shamsul Iskandar Mohd Akin in the 2013 general election.
While talk has been rife of Ali’s comeback in the next general election, he stopped short of declaring himself the BN candidate for the seat, stating that the decision would be left to the party leadership.
“But our work begins now, and as the division chief, I will be putting myself forward in this battle.
“If we are going into battle to take back this seat, then as the division chief, I am the general.
“If we are to fall, I will fall first,” Ali said.
Yesterday, he launched the Bukit Katil Pembela BN service centre, which provides community services, such as legal assistance and advice for businesses and individuals, healthcare and a public complaints centre.
This, he said, would engage the public and reassure them of BN’s commitment to their cause.
He also broke down the mistakes of the past and vowed that lightning would not be allowed to strike twice in addressing the need for attention to detail in BN’s approach towards the coming election.
“Records show that there were votes thrown the other way.
“These are the facts that we cannot deny and we must work from now on to counter them.
“On top of the votes that we got in the last elections, we now need to focus on gaining another 2,800 votes,” he said.
In 2013, Ali received 40,720 votes and lost to Shamsul, who received 46,167 votes to win, by a majority of 5,447 votes.
“First, we must ensure that all BN component parties secure their members’ votes.
“If we have the Umno, MCA, MIC, Gerakan and MyPPP membership, then we have 39,100 votes.
“Then, we have to secure those who are not party members, but support BN,” he said.
“With the work done, beginning now, in engaging with the public, solving their issues and reassuring them, I am sure we can achieve the targeted votes and win back Bukit Katil.”
At the launch, the service centre also distributed essentials to the needy, such as cooking oil, shoes, milk and canned food, while voluntary service providers, such as doctors, legal advisers and workers, began their duties at the centre yesterday.
Bukit Katil Umno chief Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam presenting a wheelchair in Malacca yesterday.