Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah (right) presenting aid to villagers in Kuala Sanglang at the ‘Jelajah Muafakat’ tour recently. FILE PIC

Barisan Nasional has a strong base in Kedah, but that does not mean we should rest on our laurels, especially with the 14th General Election (GE14) to be announced anytime soon.

The heat of GE14 is getting more intense by the day, and securing a win for BN is not like taking a walk in the park. It will not be easy, but as the head of the BN machinery in Kedah, I’m confident that we will be able to retain the state and people are wise enough to make the right choice.

The way I see it, the opposition’s claims that they are “winning” the election, would not be able to persuade the rakyat. The allegations by the opposition have no basis and are not supported by facts.

The opposition is in overdrive mode, but its strategy is nothing more than a “perception war”, to garner support.

If it wins, there will be “promises” , but if it loses, there will be recriminations, including claims that the election results have been manipulated.

If we recall, in the previous general election in 2013, all its allegations, including claims that BN had deployed phantom voters, were baseless. Trust me, it will use the same tactics to fish for sympathy votes.

Consider this. The Election Commission (EC) has been transparent enough to entertain complaints which are backed by evidence, but the opposition has never proven its claims as they were merely meant to stir up people’s negative perception of the election process.

This is its “expertise” — first is the politics of perception, and second, the politics of hatred. Through the war of perception, it creates fiction — make-believe narratives to incite hatred among people.

For the opposition, fiction dressed up as facts gives the impression of a united front, but in reality it is a divided lot.

The opposition is riding on the name of one individual to rile up support, but it forgets that this particular individual alone has no strength. The truth is his strength comes from the undivided support of his former party, which he helmed for more than two decades.

I notice DAP has slowed down in its issuance of political statements since it has this influential Malay leader to speak on its behalf to promote the loose opposition coalition’s political agenda.

Things have gotten more interesting since I announced in a recent ceramah, in response to its arrogant statement, that BN will retain Kedah with a two-thirds majority, and perhaps more. This has made them jittery and ill at ease.

The opposition seems to be in a bad shape, worse than what it was before. There are too many factions among it, and loyalty is clearly divided. Although Umno has had its share of problems, we are stronger and more united.

Political stability in BN is our greatest strength, and the opposition has never been able to match this. And, political stability is the key to forming a strong government. A strong and stable government can never be built on the shaky foundations of perception and emotion.

The BN machinery is hard at work in our preparations for GE14 and I am impressed by the dedication shown by party members and the grassroots to ensure a BN victory.

I sense high spirits and renewed vigour among members and supporters during the “Jelajah Muafakat” tour of the state.

As was reported in the New Straits Times yesterday, BN has finalised its list of candidates for GE14, and Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to make an announcement soon.

BN observers have pointed out that the candidates will be an important factor in determining the party’s fate in GE14.

I agree. The personality of candidates will be a huge factor in wooing voters. I believe the party leadership has thought long and hard about the suitable candidates, and we should put faith in our leaders to make the right choices. We should respect and give our full support to the candidates.

What is important is our faith in BN and the determination that BN will win for the sake of the people and country’s development. And, BN has a proven track record.

I wish to remind the people of Kedah that this is an important time. The fate of the state and country lies in your hands. You have the power to decide, and you must choose wisely.

I would also like to remind party members, from the state to the grassroots, to remain loyal to the party.

I am honoured and grateful that once again, I have been entrusted to lead the Kedah BN machinery.

I will do my level best for the party.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah is Kedah Menteri Besar.

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