KENINGAU: Barisan Nasional has put behind its setback in the 2008 general election and is set to go into a tooth-and-nail battle with the Opposition with a highly-motivated team.
“We are in a stronger position now. We are ready for war (with the Opposition),” Barisan deputy chief Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said when opening the 15th Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) congress here yesterday.
He said the ruling coalition had solidified its position since the last polls, with changes in the leadership, resolving problems within component parties and the initiatives by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak to address issues affecting the people being well-accepted.
Muhyiddin, who is Deputy Prime Minister, said the 2008 election results was a sign for Barisan to transform or lose its hold on the Government.
Since then, he added, there had been changes, with Najib taking the helm and spearheading the political, government and economic transformation.
He named five key areas that had helped to strengthen Barisan: political leadership, economy, government and political transformation, people's unity and meeting the needs of the rakyat as seen in the 111 “touch points” of the Budget 2013.
“I agree that just after 2008, many of our MPs were doubtful that they could win (again) but they are now very confident,” he said, adding that the people were also confident with Barisan and fully supported its policies and leadership.
On Sabah MPs who had left Barisan to be with the Opposition, he said Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (Tuaran) and Datuk Lajim Ukin (Beaufort) were now “shy” to return to the Barisan fold.
However, added Muhyiddin, it did not matter if Barisan had to face Wilfred, Lajim or PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim because the ruling party was ready to give them a fight.
To a request by PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup for three schools in the interior Pensiangan district, Muhyiddin, who is Education Minister, said the Government would first give its approval for a secondary school to be built there by 2014.
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