KUALA LUMPUR — When asked whether he will defend his state seat or contest a Parliamentary seat at the 14th general election (GE14), Datuk Seri Dr Zambry Abd Kadir said it was the most popular question he had been asked over the past few months.
In fact, the Perak Menteri Besar said the question had also made him curious of the reason people kept linking him to some Parliamentary seats, including Lumut, Bukit Gantang, Tambun and Gerik.
In cautious tones, he said it was up to the party leadership to decide whether he should defend his state seat or move to a parliamentary seat.
“I’m a simple man, when told to leave, I’ll leave, when asked to come, I’ll come. When entrusted to serve, I’ll serve,”he told Bernama in an interview on Friday.
However, the Pangkor assemblyman said during a recent meeting with Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who is also Barisan Nasional (BN) Chairman and UMNO President, he had been told to continue leading the Perak BN machinery in the GE14.
When asked whether it was also an indication for him to continue leading the state government, Zambry said it was up to Najib to submit the name of the one selected to be the next Menteri Besar to the Sultan of Perak Sultan Nazrin Shah for approval.
Zambry said he believed that the party leadership would give its best consideration of his performance, based on the feedback from the people at the grass roots, in deciding whether he was qualified to continue leading the state government if he managed to get the people’s mandate in the GE14.
Nevertheless, he said the real focus should not be on who would be the next menteri besar, but on the preparations to face the challenges in the GE14 to ensure victory for the BN.
Having been described as one of the toughest state to win in the last general election, as BN Perak only managed to win 31 out of 59 state seats, Zambry said more efforts must be done to ensure all Perak UMNO members and voters, even those residing outside the state, to come back and cast their votes in the GE14.
“For instance, we had lost a particular parliamentary constituency just by 900 votes, but when we did the calculation, there were approximately 3,000 UMNO members who did not vote, not because they boycotted the candidate, but because they thought that the candidate could simply win (without their votes),”he explained.
Zambry, however, expressed confidence that BN would retain power in Perak based on the party’s efforts and programmes to help the people.
“We began our work as soon as the last general election was concluded and have continued working hard and I’m sure this will give a good perspective to the people compared to the party which only showed up when the election is near,”he said.
The Menteri Besar said the Perak BN’s slogan of ‘Tiada tertinggal, tiada terpinggir’ (None left out, none sidelined) has been the state government’s pledge in ensuring the wellbeing of the people, regardless of their race, religion and political belief.
On the Chinese support to BN in Perak, Zambry said he was confident that the Chinese voters were able to see for themselves the party’s capability to ensure people’s wellbeing, preserve peace and economic growth in the state as the factors to help them make their decision.
“We cannot assume that the Chinese support will remain static or unchanged or that they will always support the opposition. I don’t think so because they are a dynamic society and they look at the development and the reality,”he said.
On the candidates to be fielded by BN in Perak in the GE14, he said it would see a combination of young and old faces, as well as women and leaders at the grass roots level.
“We have a list of candidates and we are in the midst of doing a survey on acceptable candidates, including incumbents of state and parliamentary seats.
“Everyone will be evaluated as the Prime Minister always emphasised on the performance of our elected representatives,”the Menteri Besar added.