KUALA LUMPUR (Bernama) – The time has come for Gerakan and Barisan Nasional (BN) to recapture Penang, said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said although the 12th and 13th general election (GE) saw BN pushed and tested, it never relented, but has strengthened its machinery to face GE14 with more vigour.
He also believed that the current political pendulum in Penang has swung back and that GE14 will be the time for the BN component parties to make a comeback.
“We will rise again. This is the time. GE14 will determine victory in favour of BN. Gerakan’s defeats (in GE12 and GE13) are only temporary.
“I really hope that all state assembly candidates and Gerakan MPs will perform brilliantly in GE14,” he said when opening Gerakan’s 46th National Delegates Conference at Menara PGRM yesterday.
Citing the victory of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe’s Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) which won a landslide victory in the country’s recent general election as an example, Ahmad Zahid said it showed that it is possible for BN to also win big if all the component parties worked in harmony.
He stressed that close cooperation between all component parties is important to ensure greater success for BN later.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid, who is also BN deputy chairman, said more than 87 per cent of the BN government’s promises in the ‘Aku Janji’ manifesto had been successfully fulfilled since 2013, compared to the opposition which only could make empty promises.
He said these efforts would continue and BN component parties should work hard to ensure that they are translated in the form of support for BN in GE14.
“If we see, although our performance in GE12 and GE13 was weak, but this graph can change. We cannot change it only if we do not try,” he added.
“So this time I urge the people to reject the DAP, give your trust back to Gerakan and other BN parties in GE14,” he said.
Touching on the worst flood disaster Penang ever faced last weekend, the Deputy Prime Minister said the speedy assistance rendered by the federal government in its wake was proof that the BN was “colour blind” when it came to helping the people.
He said the scale of destruction it brought about would not have happened if the DAP-led Penang government had emphasised sustainable development and environment conservation.
“I am colour blind when it comes to helping flood victims. This is the attitude of BN, we do not politicise disasters, we do not fish in troubled waters,” he said, adding that what had happened (the disaster) also indicated that it was time for BN to take back Penang.
At the same time, Ahmad Zahid also reminded Gerakan to beef up its social media unit to counter fake news and the politics of hatred practised by the opposition.
Also present were Gerakan president Datuk Seri Mah Siew Keong and his deputy Dr Cheah Soon Hai.
A total of 1,778 or 76 per cent of the 2,340 delegates eligible to attend the conference turned up.