TANJUNG MALIM (Bernama): The Slim by-election at the end of this month should be used as a platform to find common ground and agreement between Barisan Nasional (BN), PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).
Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Barisan's consensus through Umno and PAS in Muafakat Nasional was proven through several previous by-elections, while co-operation with Bersatu as a coalition in the Perikatan Nasional was proven for the first time in Chini, last month.
"Even if Bersatu has internal problems, there is Bersatu 'black out', leave them out with their problems. We are confident that Bersatu who are with us will continue to support us, there are no problems that cannot be solved.
"There is wisdom in this by-election. The point of similarity will be a priority or togetherness to determine the co-operation all this while," he said when addressing the Barisan machinery for the Slim by-election at Dewan Felda Jaya, Trolak here Sunday (Aug 9).
Ahmad Zahid, who is also Umno president, said the Slim by-election could not be seen in a small scope, instead any decision on Aug 29 would be an indication if the 15th general election (GE15) would be held soon.
In addition, Ahmad Zahid was optimistic that the Barisan candidate who would be announced on Aug 12 would be able to defend the Slim state seat with the support of PAS and Bersatu voters who previously supported their respective party representatives in GE14.
Ahmad Zahid also asked the state and Federal governments to overcome and solve any problems faced by the residents in Slim to ensure voter satisfaction in the constituency.
He also reminded that no government facility was used during the by-election campaign to avoid being taken advantage of and used as an issue.
He said the campaign machinery respected the culture of the local community by not flaunting opulence.
Speaking to reporters later, Ahmad Zahid said Barisan should not be too comfortable with the GE14 results in the state constituency but should strive to ensure that the Slim state seat could be retained.
The Slim by-election will be held following the death of its incumbent Datuk Mohd Khusairi Abdul Talib, 59, on July 15, who during GE14, won with a majority of 2,183 votes, defeating Bersatu candidate contesting on a PKR ticket, Mohd Amran Ibrahim and PAS candidate, Muhammad Zulfadli Zainal.
Perak has 59 state assembly seats and out of that number, 32 form Perikatan Nasional consisting of 25 from Barisan (all from Umno), Bersatu (four), PAS (three), DAP (16), Amanah (five), PKR (three), Independent (two) and Gerakan (one). - Bernama
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