ALOR SETAR: Barisan Nasional is targeting at least 11 parliamentary seats in Kedah in GE15, says its chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
This will involve taking back many seats the coalition had lost to Bersatu, PKR and PAS in 2018, with Barisan only having two MPs from Kedah before Parliament’s dissolution.
Ahmad Zahid said it was better to aim high so that it could at least achieve half of what had been targeted by the leadership.
“How are we going to achieve this? By working hard to get what is targeted,” he said during a Barisan gathering in Kulim yesterday.
He said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob’s presence at the gathering showed the coalition’s eagerness in capturing the state.
He said he was sure if the state’s Barisan machinery could deliver on the targeted seats, Ismail Sabri would come back to Kedah to deliver on Barisan’s promises.
Later, at a press conference, Ahmad Zahid said a special task force would be formed in each of the targeted 11 parliamentary seats.
He urged the Barisan machinery to reach out to first-time voters and fencesitters to explain the coalition’s efforts.
In GE14, Barisan contested in all 15 parliamentary seats in Kedah but only won two.
Incumbent Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid won Padang Terap while Baling was won by Datuk Seri Abdul Azeez Abdul Rahim.
Earlier, during a visit to the Tasek Gelugor constituency on the mainland, Ismail Sabri urged voters to remember that the seat had always been under Umno and that it was “robbed” after GE14.
Former Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Shabudin Yahaya won the seat on an Umno ticket before jumping to Bersatu after the “Sheraton Move” in 2020.
“With such a good response and a high-spirited audience, I am confident Tasek Gelugor will return to us,” said Ismail Sabri.
He hinted that more than one name was being submitted as a potential candidate for the constituency, adding that Umno would decide on who to nominate soon.
Talk has been rife that the current Sungai Dua assemblyman Datuk Muhamad Yusof Mohd Nor and state Umno Wanita chief Datuk Norliza Abdul Rahim are among the potential candidates.
Also present were incumbent Kepala Batas MP Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, Sungai Dua assemblyman Datuk Muhamad Yusof Mohd Nor, state MCA chairman Datuk Tan Teik Cheng, state MIC chairman Datuk J. Dhinagaran and other Barisan leaders.
Speaking to reporters later, Ismail Sabri said he was only speaking in jest when he said he should have sacked the 12 Cabinet ministers from Perikatan Nasional over a letter they sent to the King objecting to Parliament’s dissolution.
Ismail Sabri said his remark was taken too literally and stressed that he was merely “kidding”.
“If I were serious, the Perikatan ministers would really have been sacked.
“He is still in Cabinet and the others too, so that means I was just kidding,” he said referring to Datuk Dr Abdul Latiff Ahmad.
He was responding to questions over a statement by Special Functions Minister Abdul Latiff yesterday, that Perikatan ministers could have resigned without needing Ismail Sabri to sack them.
Abdul Latiff, who is from Bersatu, was, in turn, responding to Ismail Sabri’s statement on Monday that he had made a mistake by not firing the 12 ministers.
There are 13 parliamentary seats up for grabs in Penang, six on the island and seven on the mainland.
Of the 13 parliamentary seats, Pakatan holds 10, with DAP having seven and PKR three. Bersatu and Barisan have two and one respectively.-The Star