Muhyiddin: Bukit Selambau The Toughest Fight

Translated by DOMINIC LOH/Sin Chew Daily

UMNO deputy president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said, among the three by-elections, Bukit Selambau was the toughest fight for BN, while Batang Ai the most encouraging.

As for Bukit Gantang, he said BN needed to work harder to win the parliamentary seat.

Muhyiddin, who is also the chief commander in the three by-elections, said although the three by-elections posed a major challenge for BN, the ruling coalition was confident it could win.

He said during an exclusive interview with Sin Chew Daily that the three constituencies all had different issues, and BN would try to tackle the issues the voters were most concerned about.

"After visiting these constituencies, I found that the voters had changed, and I believe they would change their attitude to support BN."

He also said Chinese Malaysians did not like PAS, and even if they were unhappy with BN, they didn't need to support PAS.

He said Chinese voters were well aware of the Islamic state and hudud laws advocated by PAS, but they were simply angry with BN because of a few things.

"If PAS were to rule the country tomorrow, I can't predict what kind of situation it will be."

He said BN stressed the concept of cooperation among Malaysians of different races, while there were weaknesses among Pakatan Rakyat's component parties.

He hoped Malaysians would not be easily swindled by racist and narrow-minded parties such as DAP and PAS.

Muhyiddin urged voters in Bukit Gantang, Bukit Selambau and Batang Ai, including Chinese voters there, to give BN a chance to serve them.

"Only BN has the capability to run the country. Although there are weaknesses within BN, we will change and improve."

New hope from the new leadership

Muhyiddin Yassin said the new federal government team, which would most likely be unveiled next week, should bring new hope to the people and make the country's future more assured.

He hoped Malaysians would have more faith in the government, and the three by-elections were of critical importance.

He said if the voters withdrew their support from BN, it would mean they did not accept the leadership of BN. But if they support BN, it would be a "dream team" that would preserve the destiny of all Malaysians.

Muhyiddin said the new leadership would be more vibrant, foresighted and more concerned about the issues of rakyat.

As for their own weaknesses, Muhyiddin said they would take immediate action to rectify and implement reforms within the party.

He said Najib would soon announce his policies, which will be policies everyone is looking forward to. He said he had discussed many thing with Najib, and found that Najib had very attractive viewpoints to help Malaysians of different races, adding that the policies would be to redistribute economic wealth, handle the issue of poverty, create business and job opportunities, and implement fairer policies including those on education and religion.

Dropping ketuanan Melayu

Muhyiddin said ketuanan Melayu had become a thing of the past, and would never be mentioned again now.

He felt that Chinese Malaysians should not have been alarmed by one or two voices, as the government has never been talking about ketuanan Melayu.

"Some of the Malays may want to recall that they were the earliest fighters for independence. The government has never treated the people badly, nor ignored their interests or taken away the wealth of Chinese Malaysians to give to the Malays."

He felt that some Malays mentioned ketuanan Melayu just to boost the morale of the Malay community, and that they had never stirred up racial emotions and caused riots.

He hoped Malaysians would not be affected by some people. He said the 13 May incident had served as a lesson and the government did not want the incident to repeat.

He said Chinese were far more progressive than the Malays, and the government needed to assist the less fortunate. He said there were poor people in all the races, including Chinese and Indians, and these people should also be taken care of.