BANDAR BAHARU, Oct 19 — Caretaker Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob today reminded Barisan Nasional members to distinguish between political “friend and foe” so that the election battle can be taken to the identified adversaries in the 15th general election (GE15).
Ismail Sabri, who is an Umno vice-president, said that by identifying BN’s competition, namely Pakatan Harapan (PH), Perikatan Nasional (PN) and Gerakan Tanah Air (GTA), the coalition’s guns can be trained at the Opposition instead of its “own foot”.
“Don’t shoot your own foot. We know who our opposition is ... attack them,” he said at the Kedah leg of BN’s “Solidarity, Stability and Prosperity” programme at Dataran Serdang here.
Also present were BN chairman and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, BN secretary-general Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir, Kedah Umno chief Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom, BN component party leaders and members of the local community.
Ismail Sabri said all benefits for the people as announced in Budget 2023 should be used as campaign material during GE15.
“Tell the people that not long from now, the manifestos of the other parties will be announced ... but manifestos are only promises ... (so) don’t be fooled twice,” he said.
In his speech, Ismail Sabri praised Ahmad Zahid’s magnanimity in announcing him as the prime minister-candidate post-GE15, and called on BN members, particularly the leaders and potential GE15 candidates to emulate the example.
“We have to be big-hearted. I must say that the one who is most big-hearted is the president (Ahmad Zahid). He supported me when I became the prime minister and, recently, he announced that the prime minister-candidate is Ismail Sabri. (This) came from the president himself, so I would like to thank him,” he said.
Ismail Sabri admitted that distributing seats among BN component parties and BN-friendly parties was no easy task, especially in states where the legislative assemblies have not been dissolved, such as Kedah itself.
“If there are one parliamentary constituency and two state constituencies, we can share them, but in Kedah, the legislative assembly has yet to be dissolved. We can promise to give the state seats later on but we do not know whether they will take our word for it.
“In the end, there would be a tussle for the parliamentary seats ... this is what I am worried about,” he said.
Ismail Sabri announced the dissolution of Parliament on October 10 to make way for GE15 after obtaining the consent of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Al-Sultan Abdullah Ri’ayatuddin Al-Mustafa Billah Shah.
Only Perlis, Perak and Pahang have dissolved their respective state assemblies to allow polls for state and parliamentary seats to be held simultaneously in GE15.
PAS, which governs Kelantan, Terengganu and Kedah, has decided not to dissolve their state assemblies while Pakatan Harapan (PH) also agreed not to dissolve the legislative assemblies of the states under its administration, namely Negri Sembilan, Selangor and Penang. — Bernama