KUANTAN: Datuk Seri Saifuddin Abdullah (pic) is not interested in rebutting accusations about him being a traitor.
The incumbent Indera Mahkota MP said instead of " character assassination ", leaders should focus on the "real needs of the people".
"I think the people have had enough of politics and they don't want to listen too much about all this.
"People are facing lots of difficulties and that's why I am not interested in rebutting any statements," Saifuddin said, referring to PKR deputy president Rafizi Ramli's attack against him for being part of the Sheraton Move that led to the collapse of the Pakatan Harapan government in 2020.
During his speech at an Ayuh Malaysia tour stop here recently, Rafizi described Saifuddin as an opportunist who got close to others only when it would be of benefit to him.
"I did what I did to ensure the stability of the country.
"It wasn't about withdrawing support for a former prime minister or asking people to vacate their parliamentary seats so another can stand. It was for continuity and stability of the country and I was just doing what was best for the rakyat's real concern which is the economy," Saifuddin said after distributing subsidised packets of rice to residents in Indera Mahkota here on Thursday (Nov 3).
While Saifuddin is looking forward to campaigning to defend his seat against Pakatan candidate Zuraidi Ismail and Barisan Nasional's Datuk Quek Tai Seong, he hoped that his opponents would fight fair.
"Competition is good for a democracy. I hope we can all compete like gentlemen and avoid character assassinations.
"We must campaign wisely, showing what we can do for the people through our actions and individual manifestos. But for me and Perikatan Nasional, corruption and integrity are two things we won't compromise about," he said.
Saifuddin said his campaign promises for the people of Indera Mahkota would focus on three areas: making the constituency a digital economy hub, boosting education and improving networking between universities and schools in his constituency with international institutions as well as infrastructure.
"But for improving the infrastructure, such as water supply and so on, we need support from the government which is why we are offering ourselves to be the new state government for Pahang," he said.
Asked if women's issues were also on his agenda, Saifuddin stated that he had always been a proponent for women's emancipation.
"As Foreign Minister, I was one of those who supported the Malaysian mothers (with foreign spouses) fighting for citizenship for their children born abroad. This is something that I am committed to.
"I was also the founder of the Malaysian Women's Basketball league.
"I may not be doing everything that is required but at least in the areas I know of, I try. In fact, I have been saying that it is about time that we (Foreign Ministry) have women as secretary-general and also be the permanent representative to the United Nations.
"This may not happen overnight but we must have a proper plan laid out," said Saifuddin.