Wan Farid does not see the point of responding to personal attacks

By Adib Zalkapli, The Malaysian Insider

Tired of the unrelenting personal attacks against him, Barisan Nasional’s (BN) candidate in the crucial Kuala Terengganu by-election Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Salleh today vowed to stop entertaining the viciousness.

“If I want to listen to everything people say, I will lose focus, if I want to respond to all these words, I won’t be able to do anything else,” said Wan Farid at a press conference here today.

He added that it was inaccurate to say that the personal attacks  against him came only from Umno, his own party.

“The personal attacks against me were made on Pas’s stage, and it was on record. To say that they come from within the party is baseless,” said the former deputy minister.

Since filing his nomination on Jan 6, the former political secretary to Datuk Seri Abdullah Badawi has been subjected to various personal attacks.

Wan Farid has been dogged by accusations of being elitist and that he is unable to speak the local dialect, but he has denied all the criticisms, while national leaders including the Prime Minister and Umno vice president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin have been forced to defend the character of the former senator.

On the progress made by BN’s campaign, Wan Farid said local issues would be the determining factor on Jan 17.

Wan Farid is running against Pas’s Abdul Wahid Endut and independent Azharudin Adam.

On the suggestion by a pro-monarchy group, Mampat  for him to debate Abdul Wahid on the oil royalty issue, Wan Farid said it was not necessary.

“If the state government has not received the money and if the policy has not changed,” Wan Farid said, then he might be willing to debate.

The Terengganu state government recently received RM408.6 million from the federal government as part of the oil royalty payment.

In 1999 when Pas took over the state, the federal government stopped paying the oil royalty directly and took over the management of the funds by calling it goodwill money.