Zahid: Don’t let your guard down
MARANG: Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties have been cautioned not to let their guard down despite the possibility of three or multi cornered contests taking place during the 14th General Election.
Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said the coalition must never think that its work had become easier than the challenge it faced in past general elections.
“Previously, we had BN against the opposition. Now, we have Pakatan Harapan and Pas.
“The political ecosystem has changed,” he said at the launch of the Jalinan Rakyat Plus (JR Plus) for Marang yesterday.
“I am confident that three-cornered fights will become a reality in many constituencies,” he said, adding that while BN looked stronger with 13 component parties, it could not discount the strength of Pakatan Harapan and Pas.
“We have to work hard because our political enemies want to see the fall of BN in Parliament and state constituencies in the next general election.
“Previously, we had problems with the opposition when Pas was with them but (Pas) has realised that it had been used.
“We have to respect Pas’s decision to break way from the opposition and fight on its own in the upcoming general election.”
Zahid said Umno would not meddle in Pas’s internal affairs but could work together to crystalise the agenda for Islam and Malays.
“We may have different ideologies but on common issues such as the interests of Muslims and Malays, there is room for cooperation.”
The Umno vice-president also reiterated that Umno was never a racist party.
However, it would not let anyone question the rights of Malays, privilege of the rulers and sanctity of Islam as accorded under the Federal Constitution.
He reminded Umno members to work hard to retain the seats it had won and regain lost seats.
“We have to increase the majority in seats we are defending, work hard to recapture lost seats and persuade voters (to vote for BN).
“This will be the job for the JR Plus machinery. We know there are leaders who are not supporting us because they are not candidates.
“JR Plus must approach them and bring them back to support the party.
“The days of being slighted, sabotaging and running away from the arena are over,” said Zahid.
He added that he was confident BN would recapture lost state seats here, namely Rhu Rendang, Bukit Payong and Alur Limbat.