SUNGAI PETANI, Aug 18 – Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today reminded Umno members against breaking up and forming factions if the party wants to achieve a major victory in the next general election. Ahmad Zahid, who is an Umno vice-president performing the duties of the deputy president, said enough of allowing the opposition political parties to capture seats held by Umno and the Barisan Nasional due to “our own weakness”.
“The opposition is not really strong. We are weak. If we are weak and disunited, they (the opposition) will take advantage. Enough of us being split,” he said when opening the Sungai Petani Umno Division delegates meeting here. Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department and Jerai MP Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom and Sungai Petani Umno Division chief Datuk Abdul Rahim Saad were among those present at the event.
Ahmad Zahid said the BN lost Kedah to the opposition in the 12th General Election because some among the Umno members wanted to avenge fellow members. “In the 14th General Election, we must win back all the seats that we have lost,” he said. Ahmad Zahid said an internal split was the reason for the BN’s failure to retain the Sungai Petani parliamentary seat and the Bakar Arang and Sidam state seats.
In additional, he said these seats must be recaptured. He also said that it is impossible not to win these seats if they are united. He also added that all the BN component parties must work harder in the Sungai Petani parliamentary constituency to recapture these seats.
“I do not wish to interfere in the affairs of the component parties, but I ask them to select local candidates and Umno will help them garner victory,” he said. He said Sungai Petani rightly belonged to Umno and the BN and if all quarters remained united, the opposition would be defeated there.
Ahmad Zahid called on Umno members not to pit leaders against one another, which he said would only weaken Umno. He surprised delegates when he invited Abdul Rahim and the former chief of the division, Datuk Ali Yahaya, onto the stage to shake hands in a symbolic gesture of party unity.
“Leaders must realise that they are on the stage because of the members down there. As for Sungai Petani, all problems are resolved in the spirit of Umno,” he said. The Deputy Prime Minister approved an allocation of RM2 million for the implementation of minor projects in the Sungai Petani parliamentary constituency. — Bernama