BN needs mandate to continue rural development

By BERNAMA / Pic By HUSSEIN SHAHARUDDIN

The Barisan Nasional (BN) government must be given the mandate to continue its unfinished rural development agenda, said Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Razak.

The caretaker prime minister said the agenda is close to his heart because it was initiated by his late father and second Prime Minister Tun Abdul Razak Hussein, and he wants a fresh mandate to continue the agenda.

“It is pointless to talk until one froths at the mouth or sheds tears of blood because it will be too late if Putrajaya falls into the hands of another party.

“I sit in Putrajaya, but I am aware that it is due to people here in Lipis. This is our political base, and the No 1 rule in politics is to look after your political base,” he said at a meet the people session at Dewan Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah in Lipis yesterday.

Also present were Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Adnan Yaakob, Lipis Umno Division chief Datuk Abdul Rahman Mohamad, who was the Lipis MP in the 13th Parliament, and the Lipis BN leadership.

At the event, Najib approved an allocation estimated to be RM10 million to upgrade the Benta water treatment plant and to build a sports complex in Kechau.

He said the 14th General Election (GE14) is not a clash between him and Pakatan Harapan chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, but a contest between an Umno-led BN and an Opposition led by DAP.

The Opposition was engaged in much acting, which could be evaluated from the statements of its leaders like Lim Kit Siang and Lim Guan Eng who had allegedly wanted to take Dr Mahathir to court but were now proposing him to be the next prime minister.

“So, what’s the story? A strange one. An insincere story because they harbour one thought but say some- thing else. We cannot accept such an Opposition.

“I remember Dr Mahathir and Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin saying DAP is a racist, anti-Islam and anti-Malay party. I am not saying this, they said this when they were in Umno.”

Najib asked whether the people could make appeals to the DAP if the Opposition wins the election.

“Can we ask for a water treatment plant? Can we ask for a sports complex? You may not succeed even if you put on a sad face. But it is different with me because I represent a party that has its roots in a place such as Lipis,” he said.

Najib also hit out at the Opposition for criticising the poor who received the 1Malaysia People’s Aid (BR1M) by equating them to “chickens and ducks” but, in their manifesto, they said that BR1M would be continued if they came to power.

He said the intention of the Opposition is to garner votes because they realised that the people would be angered if they stopped distributing the aid.

Najib said Lipis is close to his heart because he was born at the official residence of the Pahang State Secretary there 65 years ago.

“I was touched when some of you shook my hands and welcomed me back. I will strive to ensure that the Lipis parliamentary seat remains with the BN, along with the three state seats within it,” he said.

Najib also visited the Kuala Lipis Hospital to have a closer look at the computerised tomography scanning machine or CT Scan. He was briefed by Kuala Lipis Hospital director Dr Sarifudin Saad at the Diagnostic Imaging Unit.

Najib had announced the installation of the machine at the hospital when opening the 29th delegates meeting of the Lipis Umno Division at the Dewan Jubli Perak Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah in July last year.

The head of the Radiology Unit at the hospital, Nik Mohd Shah Eram, said over 300 examinations had been conducted using the machine since it started operation on Jan 28.

The machine, the first in Lipis and the third in Pahang, benefits patients in Lipis, as well as Raub and Cameron Highlands and also Gua Musang, Kelantan. The two other machines are at the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan and Sultan Haji Ahmad Shah Hospital in Temerloh.

Previously, patients in Lipis district and nearby areas had to be sent to Temerloh, about 170km away, for such examination. — Bernama