SUNGAI PETANI, 4 April 2009: Like children who have rebelled against their parents but then reconcile, voters in Bukit Selambau are ready to come back to the Barisan Nasional (BN) fold, said Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek today.
“It is normal for children to sometimes rebel against their parents and leave the family home, but eventually they will make up and return,” he said at a press conference at the information department media centre here.
He said that the BN in Bukit Selambau could be likened to the parent-equivalents of voters here.
Shabery According to Shabery, in the March 2008 general elections, the electorate voted against the BN in protest but it looks like they are ready to embrace the coalition again in the upcoming by-election.
Shabery claimed the PAS government had achieved nothing in Kedah despite administering the state for more than a year.
“In terms of religion, there are no new suraus or mosques, and in terms of employment opportunities and poverty eradication, PAS has done nothing,” he said.
Shabery said the PAS-led Pakatan Rakyat (PR) government was still behaving like it was in opposition in the state.
“But are the people only going to live on ceramahs for the years to come?” he asked.
Shabery said the Kedah PR government had done nothing but freeload on infrastructures that were already developed by the previous administration.
New administration, old tricks?
Shabery also sang praises of the new federal administration, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak.
He said that proof of Najib’s commitment to good government was his immediate announcement of reforms and measures already being done and to be taken up.
Shabery refuted Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s stand that Najib’s release of 13 Internal Security Act (ISA) detainees was not enough without a complete repeal of the law.
In a dinner speech to the local Chinese Malaysian community at Jade Garden Seafood Restaurant last night, Anwar said, “Our past prime ministers — from Tun Hussein Onn to to Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi — did this, too. Release first, rearrest later.”
Anwar at the restaurant, delivering his speech to the Chinese Malaysian community
Shabery said, “Anwar was a staunch defender of the ISA when he was in Umno. People were convinced the use of ISA during Operasi Lalang was a good thing because of his rhetoric.”
“Anwar was also a staunch defender of other actions by the BN government, such as the sacking of former Lord President Tun Salleh Abbas,” he continued.
He said that, therefore, it would be very unfortunate if the rakyat was swayed by Anwar’s anti-ISA rhetoric.
“The opening up of Malaysian society, such as the relaxing of the Universities and University Colleges Act (UUCA) has been executed by the BN,” Shabery said.
He said that Anwar had all the means to amend the UUCA when he was education minister, but did nothing.