BN will not compromise on seats in the coming general election, says Zahid

(The Star) – Barisan Nasional will take back the seats that belong to it in the 15th General Election, says coalition president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

“We cannot afford to lose a single seat by way of the devil’s advocate where we were cheated in the 14th General Election.

“We will wrest back (the seats) again by hook or by crook. There will be no haggling or bargaining and we will take back what is ours,” he said in a speech at the Parti Makkal Sakti’s 13th annual general meeting that was broadcast virtually on Sunday (Sept 19).

Although not mentioning Bersatu directly, it was understood that Ahmad Zahid – who is also the Umno president – is referring to the 15 parliamentary seats that were won under the Umno ticket where its lawmakers crossed over to Bersatu after the last general election.

In early August, Ahmad Zahid announced that Umno was withdrawing support for Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin as prime minister and his administration, resulting in his resignation on Aug 16.

Muhyiddin – who is the Bersatu president – was replaced by Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob, who secured a 114-seat majority support for the post of prime minister.

Despite moves to table anti-hopping laws in Parliament, Ahmad Zahid said that Barisan should put in place its own measures to prevent part-hopping from happening after the next-general election.

“Although there is a proposal for an anti-hopping law which was submitted by Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said, we should not be concerned whether the law is passed or not.

“We need to be prepared from now on to bind loyalty among party members and leaders including prospective candidates for the polls. Barisan must figure out ways to stop party hopping which is something undignified,” he said.

He noted that Barisan felt betrayed when several of its lawmakers had switched parties after Barisan’s defeat in the last general election due power, money and fears of being prosecuted and being linked to the ‘court cluster’.

Besides Azalina’s proposal, the current administration under Ismail Sabri had also proposed anti-hopping law under the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed on Sept 13 with the Opposition to initiate reforms.

Ahmad Zahid also said that Barisan should not be blamed for the current political situation which resulted in the post of prime minister changing hands three times since the last polls 2018.

“Do not blame Barisan when the two previous regimes fell.

“They should blame themselves for their own failure of not prospering the lives of the rakyat and plunging the nation’s economy to an embarrassing state,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid said that Barisan must be prepared to face the coming polls and assured Makkal Sakti that the party would be given the opportunity to contest in it.