PARIT BUNTAR: Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders must stand firm and not be held to ransom by their supporters as this will ultimately affect the coalition, says Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
He said leaders who fight other leaders at the bidding of their supporters will only confuse the people.
“There are times when leaders must have tolerance. At other times, you have to stand tough. We want to fight for the people.
“The seats are not for us, but for the party (BN) and the government. So, we have to strengthen the Perak government under the leadership of Menteri Besar Zambry Abd Kadir.
“We are only short of 14 (parliamentary) seats to get two-thirds (majority), the reason we lack (parliamentary) seats is because there are leaders who are influenced by feuding followers.
“So we lose not because the opposition is strong but because we have internal problems,” he said.
Zahid was speaking at a meet-the-people programme in the Kerian district here today, which was also attended by Zambry, Parit Buntar Umno division head Abu Bakar Mat Ali, and Bagan Serai Umno division head Sham Mat Sahat.
Zahid said leaders should not just listen to the people’s woes but should take quick action to get the help that was needed.
“When leaders listen to the people, the state government can take quick action and we in Putrajaya will take action on the problems brought by the leaders.”
Zahid also reminded the people of Parit Buntar and Bagan Serai to be grateful for all the aid given by the BN government and to continue supporting the party so that they would always be looked after.
“When the big day (general election) comes, that is when the political bats (opposition) will come out and poison our minds, we will be swayed because we are not satisfied.
“I hope the people of Kerian (Parit Buntar and Bagan Serai) do not make the wrong choice. They must choose the BN candidate in GE14 if they want progress and development here,” he said.
Meanwhile, Zahid, who was also carrying out the duties of Umno deputy president, played the role of peacemaker when he got Sham and Bagan Serai MP Noor Azmi Ghazali to shake hands on stage.
Zahid said there was talk that the two were not on good terms and that this was certainly not good for the division, more so with the general election coming.
“If we are always fighting, it is the people who will suffer and that is why I wanted to bring them back together today. Solidarity is paramount.
“What is important is that the people of Bagan Serai and Parit Buntar are represented by BN MPs and assemblymen,” he said.
It is learnt that the fallout between Sham, who is also the assemblyman for Alor Pongsu, and Noor Azmi started after the last general election and later became public knowledge.
Zahid, who is also BN deputy chairman, said if there was solidarity among the leaders in Perak, the state government under the leadership of Zambry would only become stronger under the BN umbrella.