MUAR, May 8 — Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has described the 14th general election (GE14) as the best chance for Barisan to redeem itself after its lacklustre performance in the last two general elections.
He said in the earlier general elections, BN was too comfortable after a big win in GE11 which caused them to be slow to respond.
“We were pushed to the wall twice. In GE12, we were comfortable from the previous big win. In GE13, we were pushed to the wall... we were late to respond.
“Now, we want to bounce back because GE14 is the best chance for us to redeem our dignity,” he told about 1,500 Muar BN machinery personnel at an assembly in the Muar Umno building here today.
Therefore, Ahmad Zahid hoped the BN machinery, including that in Muar would give victory to the party’s candidates this time around, by making full use of the next 18 hours to campaign and gain the confidence of voters as well as all the necessary groundwork.
“We need to keep our pride as the people know the Barisan Nasional is the best. We have 18 hours from now until tomorrow...so, do not clap while we lose the village. Do not be busy ferrying people out when we ourselves forget to vote,” said Ahmad Zahid who is also BN deputy chairman.
At the same time, the home minister wants BN to recapture the Maharani state seat which fell into Opposition hands in the last election, apart from retaining the Muar parliamentary and Sungai Balang state seats with bigger majority.
“Whatever analyses that had been carried out, whatever assumptions made by external parties, whatever the Opposition is expecting, I see three extraordinary candidates in Muar... and I am very confident this is the pulse of victory,” he said.
Meanwhile in a media conference later, Ahmad Zahid stressed that he believed the Opposition was planning ‘something big’ tonight, on the eve of polling day.
He said it would be made to influence votes but he hoped the people would not be taken up by the tactic and should make their evaluation based on the 22 approaches or items initiated by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak which had not been carried out by former prime minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.
Among the approaches were not imposing toll on the Pan Borneo Highway, Kuala Lumpur-Kelantan via Merapoh Highway and Kuala Lumpur-Rawang Highway as well as subsidy for MRT fare.
Apart from that, the government led by Najib also abolished school fees and provided students with free text books.
“All these approaches were different during Dr Mahathir’s time when he raised toll by five per cent each year; imposed school fees and only gave free text books to needy students,” noted Ahmad Zahid.
Also present at the event were Muar BN parliamentary candidate Datuk Seri Razali Ibrahim; Maharani BN state candidate Datuk Ashari Sarip and Sungai Balang BN state candidate Zaiton Ismail. — Bernama