The election machinery of political parties is up and running as the 14th General Election looms. FILE PIC (2013)

THE beat of the general election war drums has begun. The election machinery of political parties is gearing up to face the next general election. Strategies are being drawn to win the 14th General Election (GE14).

I am confident that Barisan Nasional will be able to weather the challenges mounted by opposition parties as the coalition for decades had proven its mettle, in that, it is the only strong, united and ideal pact for the country.

Several weeks ago, I voiced my confidence in Chinese voters in Kedah shifting their support to BN. This is a real possibility, not something that I plucked from thin air or mere psychological warfare. My confidence is based on the feedback that BN had gathered from the people. Many issues were raised and I acknowledged that some of them were constructive criticisms, which I take positively. What matters the most to me is honest feedback from the rakyat to further improve BN’s services to the people.

Besides, my Chinese friends say that most Chinese are fed up with the politicking by opposition parties and that their elected representatives had failed to prove their ability in serving the rakyat.

For example, in Alor Star, we lost an RM30 million prospective allocation from the Federal Government, as the parliamentary constituency is being held by the opposition. I do not see the point of losing such a huge allocation just because of sentiments played up by the opposition party, which, in the end, saw its elected representative hardly present in the constituency.

There are so many issues which were not resolved by the elected representatives from the opposition. It seems they are so busy attending to national issues that they neglect the needs of their constituents.

This is the reality of the political mindset of the opposition parties. They are so engrossed in politicking and inciting hatred among the rakyat towards the government instead of promoting unity. To me, this style of politics is not suitable now nor for the future generation.

Recently, opposition parties formed the Pakatan Harapan pact, which includes Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM). I acknowledge that they have some advantages since they are led by experienced leaders.

Things may look rosy in the opposition front, but I must stress that to offer themselves as a reliable alternative to BN, it is not going to be as simple as that. The truth is, the people would evaluate the cooperation between Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad and his former protege-turned-political nemesis Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

We need to question whether their collaboration, with two other opposition parties — DAP and Parti Amanah Negara (PAN) — is a genuine and honest cooperation or is it merely a marriage of convenience, or nikah mu’taah, to achieve a personal political agenda.

Unlike BN, which has a proven track record for the past six decades, the opposition pact does not carry credentials to offer itself as a formidable alternative to the ruling coalition.

The pact’s biggest flaw is its inability to name the true No. 1 captain to steer the opposition ship. This further raises the question as to who is their prime ministerial candidate? All these discrepancies are signs of their imminent break-up, but the split is being held back, only because the polls are around the corner.

On the other hand, PPBM — the newest member in Pakatan Harapan — is hopeful in its courtship of Pas, in a bid to forge an indirect alliance with the opposition pact through the new party. This has directly lead us to question whether PPBM has serious doubts on Pakatan Harapan’s capability to soldier on without Pas.

I am made to understand that PPBM deputy president Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir’s determination in courting Pas leaders had ruffled feathers of its partner, PAN. I sense that there is a trust issue among parties in the pact, which has lead to their flip-flops, despite the confidence about winning the GE14.

I wonder how the opposition leaders are offering themselves as an alternative to the BN when they cannot even see eye-to-eye.

Their claim that they have set a new benchmark in state government administration through the PKR-led Selangor and DAP-led Penang holds no water.

The truth is, opposition parties are lucky that Selangor and Penang had been transformed into industrialised states by the previous BN state administration. Ironically, the opposition parties had claimed credit for the foundation laid by the BN administration.

We must not forget that Pakatan Harapan rose from the ashes of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat pact, made of DAP, PKR and Pas.

In May, Pas officially severed its tahaluf siyasi (political cooperation) with PKR, which led to political turmoil and confusion in the Selangor government, which was formed under the Pakatan Rakyat pact.

This brings us to the ultimate question — can we, as the rakyat, entrust a pact which does not even have a clear identity to rule the nation with so many uncertainties? Please think wisely so that you do not make the wrong choice in GE14.

It is common for opposition leaders to level allegations at the government and Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, but ironically, the opposition leaders could kiss and forget the “sins” and years of bad blood among them for the sake of defeating BN.

At times, I could not help but feel amused by the opposition’s lost cause, to the extent that they are forming a new “political cult”, although some of them had been calling each other all sorts of bad names when they belonged to the opposite side of the political divide.

For as long as anyone is willing to follow their lead, their previous sins and bad blood could be forgiven.

These are among the crucial issues that I wish the rakyat will carefully evaluate to avoid making choices that they may regret.

Politics aside, I wish to extend my heartiest gratitude to the New Straits Times Press (NSTP) for organising the three-day MyRumah Property Showcase in Kedah, which ended yesterday.

I truly welcome the NSTP initiative in connecting potential home buyers with property developers, which helps my administration’s agenda to achieve the “one family-one home” vision.

Such an initiative helps to boost the state’s property sector growth, which benefits the rakyat.

It is my wish that there is healthy growth of the sector to complement the development programmes by the state government, especially as we are closing in to achieve the target to build 40,000 units of affordable homes.

Datuk Seri Ahmad Bashah Md Hanipah is Kedah menteri besar

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