KUANTAN, May 16 – Barisan Nasional (BN) does not take the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections lightly even though the opposition parties are scuffling to field their candidates to contest for the parliamentary seats. UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein said BN would put its machinery to best use to ensure victory and retain power in the two parliamentary constituencies.
“Do not think we are so strong just because other people’s are having problems in their households. But if they (the opposition) do not resolve their internal problems, they will face the same thing as in Sarawak. We will work hard to ensure our candidates are accepted by the people. That is the tactic which has been used by BN all this while,” he said after witnessing the Network Centric Operations (NCO) and the Armed Forces X-Band Satellite demonstrations at the Royal Malaysian Air Force Base here today.
The defence minister also stressed that BN would not be affected by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s action in urging the people to reject the BN. He said he cannot force anyone to stop talking. He said Dr Mahathir can say whatever he wants, but what’s important is that they make sure our machinery is mobilised to ensure victory for our candidates.
He said when Dr Mahathir was the PM (prime minister) they were told to ensure victory for BN candidates, but now it is different. He said, however, it will not jeopardise our preparations to win at both by-electionsHishammuddin said he was also optimistic that the majority of the people were matured enough and would not be emotional in assessing BN’s capabilities to rule the country and to ensure the welfare and safety of the people.
The Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections will be held on June 18, following the death of the incumbents, Datuk Noriah Kasnon (Sungai Besar) and Datuk Wan Mohammad Khai-ril Wan Ahmad (Kuala Kangsar) in a helicopter crash in Sebuyau, Sarawak on May 5.
During the 13th general elections, Noriah beat PAS candidate Mohamed Salleh M.Hussin with 399-vote majority, while Wan Mohammad Khai-ril garnered a majority of 1,082 votes, beating PAS candidate Khalil Idham Lim Abdullah and independent candidate Datuk Kamilia Ibrahim.