BN needs new blood to retake Pakatan states, says Daim

(The Malaysian Insider) – Barisan Nasional (BN) needs a mixture of influential and new leaders in order for it to take over Pakatan Rakyat-controlled Selangor, Kelantan and Kedah, Tun Daim Zainuddin told Mingguan Malaysia.

The Umno veteran told Utusan Malaysia’s Sunday edition in an interview published today that BN had a “better advantage” to win the next election compared to 2008, where it lost its two-thirds majority to the federal opposition

 Daim was widely credited as the only Umno leader who openly predicted BN’s loss of several key states in the last general election. 

In an interview with Utusan’s Sunday edition Mingguan Malaysia, Daim outlined BN’s chances in taking over Selangor, Kelantan, and Kedah as well focusing on other BN states such as Terengganu, Negri Sembilan. 

“BN has to be ready with a new candidate for its leadership in Selangor, one who is quick in sharing information and knowledge. Politics have changed, BN must move in line with time or else they will face the consequences,” he said. 

The former finance minister charged that PR’s greatest folly in Selangor was the state government’s sacking of former state executive councillor Datuk Dr Hasan Ali, and it showed how the state’s decisions were influenced by DAP. 

Daim said that urban folk in Selangor as well as the Federal Territories wanted better education opportunities, affordable housing and a drop in crime and that these are the issues that BN needed to pay attention to. 

Kelantan, said the Umno man, already had a good, strong leader in the form of International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamad, who is Jeli MP. 

“He is a gentleman who will work non-stop for 18 hours one day and can return for work early morning the next. This is a quality needed for the people, I have never heard PAS say anything bad about him. 

“He is an authentic threat to (Datuk) Nik (Abdul) Aziz (Nik Mat). But he should not just focus his attention on Jeli. Mustapa must remember he is a Kelantan leader,” said Daim. 

He said that in terms of Kedah, the PAS government was currently embroiled in a crisis and that Umno had a good chance on capitalise on the situation. 

“There is chance here to combine new blood with a new type of leadership. It is up to Umno to introduce a new dynamic face to challenge Pakatan Rakyat.” 

But he also admitted that BN’s chances at winning were still difficult in Penang although prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak’s popularity has helped shore up renewed BN support. 

Daim also pleaded with Umno leaders in Terengganu, Sabah and Negri Sembilan to put away their differences and focus on retaining the respective states.