Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Taib: Barisan Nasional still popular despite defeat in Kuala Terengganu

KUCHING: Chief Minister Pehin Sri Abdul Taib Mahmud yesterday expressed confidence that the Barisan Nasional (BN) was still popular among the people despite its loss in Kuala Terengganu parliamentary seat by-election Saturday.
Taib, who is Sarawak BN chairman, said he did not think the BN had to go through ‘rebranding’ after the coalition was defeated by PAS, a component in the loose coalition of Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
The chief minister made the remarks when met after he officiated at the Chief Minister’s ICT Media Award 2008 prize presentation at Wisma Bapa Malaysia here.
“I think it would not be easy to make general recommendation just from one event (the Kuala Terengganu by-election),” he said when asked if BN needed to go for a ‘rebranding’ exercise after the defeat.
In fact it was the second straight defeat for the BN which lost to Parti Keadilan Rakyat (another PR component) in Permatang Pauh (Penang) parliamentary seat by-election last year.
Taib said the results of the Kuala Terengganu by-election suggested that the BN was still popular and accepted by the people in the country.
“Judging from the results, although BN lost, the votes for BN were quite high … in spite of the fact that many people told me that the BN candidate was not well chosen and so on.
“But it was quite good taking into account the 30,000 versus 30,000 voters. It was not so bad,” he added.
Kuala Terengganu which has 80,229 registered voters saw PAS’ Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut garnering 32,883 votes as opposed to BN’s Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh’s 30,252 votes and independent Azharudin Mamat alias Adam’s 193 votes.
Taib, who is Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) president, was not the only state leader who has commented on the by-election results.
On Sunday here, PBB vice-president Datuk Daud Abdul Rahman said he was saddened by BN’s defeat.
Describing the loss as a shame, Daud said the BN’s popularity with the people was waning.
He also said he hoped that the loss would be the last for BN and that the win by PAS had boosted the morale of its supporters.
In Miri on Sunday, Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) president Datuk Patinggi Tan Sri Dr George Chan reminded party leaders and members to deliver and not just offer lip service to the people.
The most effective way to regain people’s confidence was to win voters’ hearts and minds, he pointed out.
Dr Chan, who is a deputy chief minister said: “When you got 50:50 chance, personality becomes important. People will see that this guy is a performance-oriented guy who can deliver.”
Saturday’s by-election was held after the death of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail.
In the last general election on March 8 last year, Razali defeated PAS’ Mohamad Sabu and independent Maimum Yusuf with a 628-vote majority.
Dr Chan has said Razali won the March 8 2008 general election because of his personality - which was extremely effective – to the extent that people liked him.
petikan daripada The Borneo Post

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