TANJUNG MALIM : The Slim State Assembly by-election (PRK) at the end of this month should be used as a platform to find common ground and agreement between Barisan Nasional (BN), PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
BN chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said BN’s consensus through UMNO with PAS in Muafakat Nasional was proven through several previous by-elections, while co-operation with Bersatu as a coalition in the Perikatan Nasional was translated for the first time when in Chini, last month.
“Even if Bersatu has internal problems, there is Bersatu ‘black out’, leave them with their problems. We are confident that the Bersatu with us will continue to support us, set aside problems, there are no problems that cannot be solved.
“There is wisdom in this by-election. The point of similarity will be a priority or togetherness to determine the co-operation all these while,” he said when addressing the BN Machinery for the Slim by-election at Dewan Felda Jaya, Trolak here today.
Ahmad Zahid, who is also UMNO president, said the Slim by-election could not be seen in a small scope, instead any decision on August 29 would be an indication if the 15th General Election (GE15) would be held soon.
In addition, Ahmad Zahid was optimistic that the BN candidate who would be announced on August 12 would be able to defend the Slim state seat with the support of PAS and Bersatu voters who previously supported their respective party representatives in GE-14.
Ahmad Zahid also asked the state and federal governments to overcome and solve any problem faced by the residents in Slim to ensure the satisfaction of the voters in the constituency.
He also reminded that no government facility was used during the by-election campaign to avoid being taken advantage of and used as an issue and that the campaign machinery respected the culture of the local community by not flaunting opulence.
Speaking to reporters later, Ahmad Zahid said BN should not be too comfortable with the GE-14 results in the state constituency but should strive to ensure that the Slim state seat could be retained apart from being open against any candidate either from the opposition parties or those independent tickets.
The Slim by-election would be held following the death of its incumbent Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, 59, on July 15, who during GE-14, won with a majority of 2,183 votes defeating Bersatu candidate contesting on a Parti Keadilan Rakyat ticket, Mohd Amran Ibrahim and PAS candidate, Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal.
Perak has 59 DUN seats and out of that number 32 form Perikatan Nasional consisting of 25 BN (all of which are UMNO), Bersatu (four), PAS (three), DAP (16), Amanah (five), PKR (three), Independent (two) as well as Gerakan (one).