MELAKA, Nov 17 — Bersatu information chief Datuk Wan Saiful Wan Jan today scoffed at the Barisan Nasional (BN), calling the rival coalition a “joke” for campaigning for stability in the Melaka state election.
At a news conference here, he sought to remind voters that the snap poll was called because of pro-government lawmakers who withdrew support for the chief minister, causing the collapse of the Umjo-led state administration.
“I would like to remind the people out here, especially the people of Melak, that the people who actually fought for stability is Perikatan.
“Just look at the historical facts, who caused the instability in Perak, Johor? Look at how the prime minister was changed. Who even pulls their support for their own government?
“For me, this group of people talking about stability, this is a joke. We want the people of Melaka to understand that this is something they are not qualified to talk about,’’ said Wan Saiful whose party is a component of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition that also includes PAS.
BN is campaigning the state election with the motto “Kestabilan Demi Kemakmuran”, (stability for the sake of prosperity).
The Melaka State Legislative Assembly, which consists of 28 seats, was dissolved on October 4 after four representatives withdrew their support for the leadership of Umno’s Datuk Seri Sulaiman Md Ali.
Two of them, Datuk Seri Idris Haron and Datuk Nor Azman Hassan were from Umno but were sacked after their withdrawal. They are now defending their seats — Idris In Sungai Udang and Nor Azman in Pantai Kundor — under the Pakatan Harapan (PH) banner.
The third, Datuk Noor Effandi Ahmad, was from Bersatu and similarly sacked by the party after pulling his support for Sulaiman. Like Idris and Nor Azman, he is also defending his Telok Mas seat on the PH ticket.
Umno and Bersatu managed to set aside their differences at the state level to form the Melaka government under Sulaiman, which ended in August with the withdrawal.
Datuk Norhizam Hassan Baktee who won Pengkalan Batu in the 2018 election on a DAP ticket, later declared himself an independent. He is also seeking to be re-elected as an independent.
Wai Saiful said PN had not wanted this election while the country is still fighting Covid-19 and is always mindful of the risks of the infection spreading and endangering people’s lives and their livelihood.
However, he said it is the responsibility of political parties to take part in elections when they are called.
“When an election is called, it is incumbent upon us to play our responsibility. It is not a hobby, it is a responsibility.
“For us to make sure the message is sent out and represent our through message, we need campaigners. Look at the simplest example, just look at flags, if there is no one out there planting flags then people would say that Perikatan is weak because they do not have flags.
“The issue here is not about campaigners, the real issue is that if they had not caused the election then campaigners would not be here.
“So it is not contradictory but it is something that we do with a heavy heart,” he said when asked about the influx of out-of-state party members to help with the Melaka election campaigning that keeps increasing with each passing day closer to polling day on Saturday.
Yesterday, latest data released from the Ministry of Health shows that the number of Covid-19 patient had increased by 57 per cent in the previous seven days
It was also reported that 77 per cent of hospital beds in the state have already been utilised with 24.1 per cent of them consisting of Covid-19 patients.
In the same press conference, Wan Saiful had also called out Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) campaign manifesto, particularly calling for the end of sand export in the state, as “populist” in nature.
“The issue is not about the sale of sand but the issue is contractors vying for contracts to enrich themselves. If the matter can be done properly, with the right oversight, then there is nothing wrong with that,’’ said Wan Saiful.
The Melaka state election is set to be held on November 20.