(The Star) - Barisan Nasional leaders criticised Pakatan Rakyat's intention to hold separate polls for Selangor, saying it was a sign that the Opposition parties lacked confidence in defending the state.
Selangor Barisan coordinator Datuk Seri Mohd Zin Mohamed said Pakatan was “doing what it can to remain in power”.
He said holding separate elections would incur high costs and was not in the best interest of the people, especially when the five-year term of the state assembly was nearing its end.
Mohd Zin said Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should stop inconveniencing the people of Selangor.
“But, if Anwar wants to call for separate state elections, we are ready. If his objective is to derail our preparations, then he better think twice,” he said.
Pakatan's intention to hold the state polls separately showed that it had no confidence in holding on to the state government, he said.
“The general election can be held any time now, and we are confident of wresting Selangor back. The people have seen no improvement in Selangor, whether in welfare or economically, during the four years of Pakatan rule,” he added.
Barisan Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin said Pakatan's refusal to hold state and parliamentary elections simultaneously would create political uncertainty in the country.
“This is ridiculous; don't waste the rakyat's money,” he said.
“The difference between any separate state and parliamentary elections will just be several months from this point onwards, so they should just agree to have the elections concurrently,” said the Rembau MP.
Asked if Pakatan's decision was to draw sympathy votes in the event that they did badly in the Parliamentary elections, Khairy said it pointed to Opposition's lack of confidence in facing the electorate.
Stating that millions of ringgit would be wasted by holding separate polls, Selangor MCA Public Complaints Bureau chief Datuk Theng Book said: “The move is Anwar's strategy to win sympa- thy votes.
“If they can't take over the Federal Government, then they can ask people to give them a chance to rule the state instead.”
On Anwar's claim that the electoral roll was still tainted, Theng said: “This is just an excuse. It is as though everybody is dirty except him.”
Sabah Barisan secretary and Kota Belud MP Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said Pakatan had four years to tell the people of Selangor their policies.
“It shows that they are not confident of retaining Selangor,” he said. “They have spent their term ridiculing Barisan.”
MIC secretary-general Datuk S. Murugesan said Pakatan's stand clearly showed that the Opposition had little confidence in their ability to hold on to power.