Gerakan secretary-general Teng Chang Yeow has brought in creativity and a sense of leadership, says Penang Umno liaison chairman Zainal Abidin Osman.
In a matter of three weeks, Teng has fired up the imagination of the coalition which would be starting up as an underdog in the next general election for the first time since 1969, Penang Umno liaison chairman Zainal Abidin Osman said.
Realising that Teng has now come under attack by Pakatan Rakyat since his appointment as Penang BN chairman, Zainal Abidin said that the former has brought in creativity and a sense of leadership.
The DAP-dominated Pakatan has been criticising Teng online or through the mainstream media hours after his appointment, he said.
Zainal Abidin added that he would like to assure Penangites that Umno is not interested in leading BN at Penang.
The population census shows that there are more non-Malays than Malays in Penang, therefore Umno accepts the notion that a non-Malay (Chinese) be given a chance to lead Penang, he said.
He admitted that previously, there were calls for Umno to take over the reins of BN here and to also assume the chief ministership should BN regains the state.
However, the reality on the ground shows that people are comfortable with a non-Malay leading the state, hence Umno’s willingness to allow Gerakan to lead the state, Zainal Abidin said.
He also said that Teng is his own man and Umno has no plans to interfere with his stewardship of the state.
“Teng has shown firm leadership and we are now focusing on regaining the trust of the diverse communities here.”
Zainal Abidin expects Pakatan to mow down Teng since the latter is proving to be an obstacle to its strategy of eradicating BN here.
“We realise this, as Pakatan’s strategy is to always exploit the weaknesses of its opponents rather than to show its own strengths.”
Sooner or later, the people would realise this cheap form of politics, which is to constantly blame others only, Zainal Abidin said, adding that people should be asking what has changed in the state since Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng began his tenure here.
He also said allocating funds to the people is a standard form of governance.
All governments do it either directly or indirectly, he added in reference to the handouts that the state was allocating to the senior citizens, newly-wed couples and families who have their first-borns besides educational incentives for Penang-based students.
He claimed that the BN-led federal government had dispensed RM22.5 billion worth of projects, initiatives and services in Penang since 2008.
“Without such expenditure where local contracters have also benefited, we doubt the state can register economic growth.”