Too much bickering in opposition, says Najib

Kuala Kangsar (The Star/ANN) - The continued bickering among Pakatan Rakyat parties on key issues could result in chaos in Malaysia if the ppposition were to seize power in the general election, Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.

In urging Malaysians to carefully consider whether they could place their trust in Pakatan, Najib pointed out how the opposition had failed to agree on many important matters.

They range from the selection of general election candidates to who should become Prime Minister should they win a majority of seats.

"Tensions will increase in our country and there will be a situation of not just uncertainty but maybe chaos if they continue bickering among themselves when trying to form a (federal) government.

"How can they form a viable and credible government when they are continuously bickering?" Najib asked the crowd at the 1Malaysia People's Gathering here yesterday.

Pakatan's failure to reach a consensus on seat allocation resulted in the Pan-Islamic Malaysian Party (PAS) and the People's Justice Party (PKR) both fielding candidates in one parliamentary and six state seats.

While Pakatan leaders have said that Opposition leader Anwar Ibrahim was their choice for Prime Minister, several delegates to the PAS muktamar last year questioned the decision, saying they wanted PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang instead.

Najib said that in contrast to Pakatan, which had failed to remain on the same page on many issues, Barisan had remained united.

"We negotiate in the spirit of give-and-take and while I don't deny that we have differences of opinion, in the end when the leadership decides all abide and this is what a genuine coalition is about," said Najib.

In his speech at the morning gathering, the first of four events during his one-day visit to Perak, Najib also praised local Barisan leaders, who remained loyal to the coalition despite not being picked as candidates.

"Our party is more important than any individual, and this has been proven in our history where anyone who leaves our party will eventually be abandoned by the people," he said.

Former Wanita United Malays National Organisation leader Kamilia Ibrahim is contesting as an Independent for the Kuala Kangsar parliamentary seat and was sacked along with 57 other party members who are also running as independent candidates.

Najib later attended another 1Malaysia People's Gathering in Bagan Serai where he announced an expansion of the Kerian Hospital by an additional 200 beds to better meet the healthcare needs of the district's growing population.

He said flood mitigation projects for the district under a previously announced 546 million ringgit (US$180.17 million) allocation would be completed soon.

*US$1=3.03 ringgit

COPYRIGHT: ASIA NEWS NETWORK

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