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KUALA LUMPUR, July 23 — Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties should look past racial lines and help each other, including Umno, to win seats that are out of their comfort zone, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi stressed today.
The deputy prime minister said traditionally, Umno especially has been very “accommodative” to its BN component parties in several Malay heartlands by allowing them to place their candidates despite having no winnability.
He explained that several areas, including Selangor state seats, Perak and Penang, have been “sacrificed” by Umno to component parties who did not yield results for BN.
“We want our friends in BN other than Umno to be strong. Umno is too kind to its friends, even though some (in Umno) may be upset by it.
“In Selangor, all the DUN seats are won by Umno. Even though we gave seats to BN component parties, none were won.
“How many areas have we sacrificed...especially in Malay-majority areas,” Zahid said during his speech at the Bukit Bintang division Umno meet today.
The Umno vice president added that BN component parties especially have to look past the racial lens, claiming this was being manipulated by Opposition parties.
Zahid pointed out that how DAP especially was using Malay candidates to sway votes to the party against BN, like seen in Raub and Teluk Intan.
“Look at Raub. A Malay candidate from DAP can win there. This is dangerous as DAP is sparking fire by putting a Malay candidate. Likewise in Teluk Intan. Luckily we won.
“How many seats are we going to sacrifice like this? We have to break away from the current state of mind,” he told the crowd.
DAP’s Mohd Ariff Sabri Abdul Aziz is Raub MP. Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong had narrowly defeated DAP candidate Dyana Sofya Mohd Daud in the 2014 Teluk Intan by-election with a majority of just 238 votes.
Zahid, who is Bagan Datoh MP, also reminded Umno members to put aside political ambitions to ensure that Islam is protected as the country’s main religion.
“Political ambition is secondary. We should not use religion to achieve political ambitions. We should use politics to strengthen our religion.
“Religion is something we should always carry up and give importance to,” Zahid said.