TERENGGANU Umno feels it has a better chance of recapturing the state because PAS members have become disillusioned by its government, state liaison committee deputy chairman Datuk Idris Jusoh told Berita Minggu.
The confidence was strengthened by the support shown by over 10,000 PAS members who had joined Umno over the past three years, he said.
“In the last election, our popular votes stood at 42%. I can safely say our confidence level to recapture the state now stands at 60%,” he said.
Idris said among the strategies to achieve the goal were organising programmes close to the hearts of the people and putting candidates based on merit and of the people’s choice rather than those who appealed to the leadership.
In the interview, Idris criticised Terengganu Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang who he said was “incapable of managing and administering state affairs with his inexperienced team.”
He refuted claims by Hadi that various weaknesses in the state’s administration were inherited from the 25-year rule under (Umno’s) Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar Ahmad.
He pointed out that in just three years, PAS had exercised 15 reshuffles involving 188 state officers and the changes were made against those not in line with PAS policies instead of performance.
Next to Idris’ article on the front page, the daily carried a statement from Hadi who alleged that police were harbouring illicit businesses.
Hadi claimed that police had refused to assist the state in closing down outlets with undesirable activities, which contravened the Police Act compelling officers to co-operate with the state.
Mingguan Malaysia reported that the Government had the prerogative to prevent Malaysians from visiting Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome-affected countries to safeguard the nation’s health and security.
Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim said the move to retain the passport of any citizen intending to visit SARS-affected countries would not contravene the Constitution.
“No citizen in this country can challenge the Government in court for retaining his or her passports as a measure to contain the spread of an outbreak,” he told the daily.
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