KUALA LUMPUR – August 26, 2015: Tensions are brewing in Kedah as many Kedahans appeared displeased with the “covert and subtle warnings” hinted at their Menteri Besar (MB) Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir.
Several Kedahan, known to The Mole as staunch supporters of Umno, expressed their unhappiness with members of the party leadership who openly criticised Mukhriz.
Three days ago, several Umno leaders were reported to have taken a dig at Mukhriz during the party’s division meeting in Jerlun.
In the meeting, the leaders spoke about being loyal to the party’s leadership and the sacrifices that some of them had to make which eventually resulted in Mukhriz being selected as the state’s Menteri Besar.
Though, their speech was couched, many Kedahans understood the innuendo the leaders were trying to convey and they were unhappy with the leaders’ actions.
Paddy farmer Osman Idris, 57, said that although it is normal for party members to have disagreements and scold those who do not toe the line but the scolding should not be done in public.
“It is both humiliating and infuriating to be openly criticised. They of all people should know best how bad it felt to be publicly scolded.
“Besides that, Mukhriz is doing a great job governing Kedah and he is warm and friendly with us ‘tak macam beberapa ketua Umno yang lain’ (unlike certain Umno leaders),” he said.
Housewife Norsekinah Darus, 58, warned Umno’s central leadership that Barisan Nasional (BN) will lose Kedah if Mukhriz was to be replaced as the state’s MB.
“He is a good MB despite his flaws, he is currently the best person for the job and almost everyone is fond of him including the ‘Pak Lebai’ and ‘Tok Imam’.
“If he is replaced, and I know for certain the candidate that the central leadership has in mind to replace him, BN will lose Kedah in the next general election.
“Kedahan can be very volatile, and we will vote for those who can really take good care of us regardless whether they are from Umno, Pas or PKR.
“We have done it before and we will not hesistate to do it again should we deemed the need to do so,” she said in reference to the 2008 General Election where Pas won the right to govern Kedah from BN.
Engineer Zahar Idris, 36, opined that the central leadership in Umno has to grasp a better understanding of the people’s voice, adding that “serving an individual’s vested interests will do the party no good.”
“We understand that it is important for Umno to have solidarity within its ranks and it may be true that Mukhriz was chosen as Kedah MB out of gratitude but he would not have been easily accepted if the people did not like and respect him.
“Jabbing Mukhriz is akin to jabbing Kedahan’s trust in Umno.
“If he is removed regardless of whatever reasons, the majority of Kedahans will be angry but instead of rioting most of us will vent our frustration through the ballot boxes
“If these leaders keep on making cutting remarks at Mukhriz just because he does not share their views then it would not be suprising if Kedahan will not ‘pangkah’ (vote for) BN in the next election,” he said.