KUALA LUMPUR, March 23 — Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders largely share Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak’s confidence in BN’s ability to recapture states currently under the opposition. Their confidence is based on the current political scenario in Penang, Kelantan, Kedah and Selangor where there have been too many flaws in the administration of these Pakatan Rakyat-controlled states.
“We (BN) have seen in the four years (since the last general election) that their administration is weak and there have been no change, including development which they should have brought about,” said Kedah MCA chief Datuk Chong Itt Chew to Bernama.
“During these four years too, they have been involved in power struggle that they have neglected the people’s welfare, what more to focus on development in Kedah, for instance. On the other hand, after they lost the state in the 2008 general election, the BN components – Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC – have been working relentlessly to serve the people.”
Chong said the people in Kedah had now started to make comparisons between the Pakatan state government’s performance and that of the previous BN government, and the winds of change can be felt from the overwhelming support from the people for the BN leaders’ ‘turun padang’ (going to the ground) programmes.
Is this realisation the outcome of making such comparisons? “The people now realise that only BN can ensure their well-being. And they want the state’s administration to be returned to BN. This is no empty talk…but based on information we received from the ‘turun padang’ programmes.
“Kedah BN is ready to face the coming general election. As the Kedah MCA chairman, I am very confident that BN can win back Kedah. We have been making the best possible preparations after our loss in 2008,” he said.
However, he added, Kedah BN would be working even harder to enable BN to win two-thirds majority in the coming elections. In the 2008 elections, BN won only four parliamentary seats out of the 15 contested in Kedah. Federal Territory People’s Progressive Party (PPP) chief, Datuk A. Chandra kumanan is also confident of BN wresting back the seats it lost in the Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur to the opposition in 2008.
“What the prime minister has said is true, as each time he and his deputy Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin ‘turun padang’, there will be a large turn-out of people. This is a good sign for BN. “I believe the burgeoning public support is also because although BN lost in some states, it has continued to work hard in looking after the welfare of the people and in rebuilding their confidence in BN,” he said.
Chandrakumanan, who is also PPP information chief, said besides the positive results of the ‘turun padang’ efforts by the BN leaders, increasing public support for BN was also due to the implementation of the transformation programmes which gave confidence to the people, many of whom had begun rejecting the opposition for doing nothing.
The Federal Territory of Kuala Lumpur has 11 parliamentary seats but BN only won one – Setiawangsa – in the 12th general election in 2008. Recently, the prime minister reportedly said that he was confident BN would be able to win back the opposition-controlled states in the 13th general election which would be held any time.
Najib said this was based on the increasing public support for the BN government and their acceptance of its policies which focused on national transformation efforts. Kelana Jaya Umno division treasurer, Mohd Zaidi Ilamdin is also confident that Selangor will be wrested back by BN, also based on the increasing public support for the coalition.
“I cannot say we can win big in Selangor, but I believe BN can take back the state as it is now on the right track in its struggle and policies, which have won increasing public acceptance.
“The people can judge BN’s performance against the opposition’s. If you look at party internal problems, the opposition is in a real mess. Is this what the people want? A government with chronic internal problems that will continue to disappoint them?” he said when contacted. Mohd Zaidi also said that Selangor BN was also ready to “storm” the opposition’s strongholds in the coming general election.
MIC Youth chief T.Mohan said the prime minister’s sterling administration of the country would also be a contributing factor to BN’s victory, besides the sound policies being implemented by the government.
He believes that not only the Malays and Chinese, but also the Indians are also feeling the changes brought by Najib for the good of the country while his attention for the lot of the Indians has never been seen as close as now.
“With all these factors, I’m confident that all the states under the opposition now will be returned to BN by the voters,” said Mohan. He said there was no excuse for the people to reject BN as it had always kept its promises, besides having a good track record in looking after the welfare of the people.
“What BN says is no mere rhetoric or just sweet to hear for the people. What it promises will definitely be fulfilled, unlike the empty promises made by the opposition.”
He said the people had also come to realise that the opposition’s struggle was only to capture Putrajaya in order to fulfil one leader’s dream of becoming prime minister, and not in the interests of the people at large.