Friday, August 1, 2008

Golden chance for Umno, says Muhyiddin

Friday August 1, 2008 MYT 4:15:35 PM

Golden chance for Umno, says Muhyiddin


MUAR: The upcoming Permatang Pauh by-election is a golden opportunity for Barisan Nasional to wrest the parliamentary seat from PKR, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

The Umno vice-president said the election could also be an opportunity for Barisan to regain the people's confidence, especially voters in the parliamentary constituency.

"We hope voters in the area would not be influenced by PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim who may use the campaign to garner sympathy over the sodomy allegation.

"Barisan leaders have expected that his wife (Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah) would vacate her seat to enable Anwar to contest the Permatang Pauh seat," he told reporters in Pagoh on Friday.

Muhyiddin said it was a sad thing for the voters in Permatang Pauh, who had cast their votes in the March 8 general election, to be burdened with the by-election.

However, he added, it was Anwar's right to contest and he hoped the voters in the area would not be too emotional towards Anwar or Dr Wan Azizah but think of their future.

He said the Barisan leadership would decide on a suitable candidate to contest against Anwar and the opposition party had no right to select the candidate for Barisan to go against their leader.

On Umno-PAS talks, Muhyiddin said there were many other factors which Barisan should focus on including re-strengthening the alliance rather than discussing merging with the opposition party.

He said although the cooperation talks between the two parties, especially about sharing of ideas and Malay unity, were good, it would be more appropriate to concentrate on strengthening Umno.

"Actually I myself do not know how the Umno-PAS talks started and PAS has said it rejects any cooperation.

"To me it is more important for Umno to strengthen itself as we don't want people to say we are weak and need PAS to become strong," he added.

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