GEORGE TOWN: Penang will be the frontline state for Perikatan Nasional in the next general election and the coalition will work with civil society and the people to bring about "real" changes in the state, says Datuk Seri Azmin Ali (pic).
The former PKR deputy president said there is a new dynamism in the present leadership under Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and "we need to bring about changes in the country, including Penang".
Azmin said Permatang Pauh on the mainland would be the place to begin the quest for the hearts and minds of the people in Penang, adding that businesses, civil society and non-governmental organisations will be engaged to convince the people of the change that was needed.
"We are seeing a new vigour in the leadership of Muhyiddin unlike someone who has only been obsessed with becoming the prime minister for the last 22 years," said Azmin in a jibe against PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim at the "Majlis Makan Malam Penggerak Komuniti Negara Pulau Pinang" in Bayan Lepas on Saturday (Aug 1) night.
"Permatang Pauh has always been a personal issue of a leader, his wife and now his daughter and was never about the people. It is time the people in the constituency need a change as they have given him the opportunity for a long time," he said.
Azmin, who is also the International Trade and Industry Minister, said there was no discrimination by the present government against Penang, although it is an opposition state and the federal government had encouraged international companies to invest in the state.
"In June, my ministry agreed to a RM2bil investment to set-up a medical and surgical products company in Penang, which is proof that we have always been fair as the facility in Penang is an investment in Malaysia," he said.
Later, at a press conference, Azmin said it was not about wresting the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat but rather bringing about change with the people as the focus.
"I am sure the people in Permatang Pauh also want a change rather than being dragged into the personal affairs of the leader and his family. We leave it to the people in the constituency to make a decision," he said.
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