‘FO­CUS ON NON-MALAYS, TOO’

Chi­nese vot­ers are fed up with the op­po­si­tion, says DPM

New Straits Times - - News | Politics - AH­MAD FAIRUZ OTHMAN JO­HOR BARU news@nst.com.my

CHI­NESE vot­ers have ac­cepted Barisan Na­sional (BN) and are more re­cep­tive to­wards BN af­ter their bad ex­pe­ri­ence of sup­port­ing the op­po­si­tion in the last gen­eral elec­tion.

Deputy Prime Min­is­ter Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi said their shift in sup­port would ben­e­fit BN.

He said it was per­ti­nent for BN and Umno lead­ers to win the hearts and minds of Malay and non-Malay vot­ers.

“We can­not fo­cus only on Malay vot­ers be­cause Chi­nese vot­ers want to sup­port BN, too, as they are fed up with the op­po­si­tion af­ter vot­ing for them in the last elec­tion. Chi­nese vot­ers feel that they were cheated then, and they are now more re­cep­tive to­wards BN.”

He said this at the Pu­lai Umno di­vi­sion del­e­gates’ meet­ing at Kom­pleks Tan Sri Mo­hamed Rah­mat here yes­ter­day.

Zahid, who is also BN deputy chair­man, urged lead­ers to em­u­late Pu­lai Umno di­vi­sion chief Datuk Nur Ja­zlan Mo­hamed for be­ing close to non-Malay vot­ers in his con­stituency.

“I know that Nur Ja­zlan of­ten vis­its Chi­nese-ma­jor­ity ar­eas, and some have said that maybe he spends less time in Malay ar­eas. But, he is do­ing his job as a mem­ber of par­lia­ment.

“He knows that 47 per cent of the vot­ers in his con­stituency are Malays and 40.9 per cent are Chi­nese.

“All Umno lead­ers and mem­bers un­der­stand that we need the votes of Malays and non-Malays.”

Zahid urged Umno lead­ers and mem­bers to de­fend the party against in­sti­ga­tors who might have been their for­mer lead­ers.

“Some of these for­mer lead­ers used Umno as a mere stopover. Their time has passed, but this ‘house’ of Umno re­mains our re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“We can­not let these lead­ers or ex-lead­ers throw stones and shat­ter the glass of this house of Umno, which we have built for 71 years.”

Zahid said it was not an easy task to strengthen a 71-year-old party, but it con­tin­ued to be rel­e­vant due to the work of suc­ceed­ing lead­ers to mod­ernise the party.

He paid trib­ute to Nur Ja­zlan’s fa­ther, the late Tan Sri Mo­hamed Rah­mat, who was the for­mer Umno and BN sec­re­tary-gen­eral.

“Tok Mat’s (Mo­hamed) con­tri­bu­tions to Umno and BN were too many.

“Till this day, I con­tinue to heed his re­quest for me to look out for his son (Nur Ja­zlan) when I hold a top party post.”

ANUAR RAHIM PIC BY HAIRUL

Datuk Seri Dr Ah­mad Zahid Hamidi at the Pu­lai Umno di­vi­sion del­e­gates’ meet­ing in Jo­hor Baru yes­ter­day. With him is Pu­lai Umno di­vi­sion chief Datuk Nur Ja­zlan Mo­hamed (cen­tre).

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