IPOH — April 16, 2018: As the official campaigning period for the 14th general elections draws nearer, it is almost a given that both competing sides will face an even heavier onslaught of mud-slinging.
But Perak’s Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Zambry Abdul Kadir wants supporters to be level headed regardless of how scathing an attack can be.
In an interview with The Mole after he had launched the state’s BN machinery yesterday, Zambry said the opposition in Perak tends to resort to malicious personal attacks rather than factual criticisms of his administration.
“It comes from all directions and sometimes they were very bitter, unfounded and malicious in nature,” said Zambry, who was derogatorily called a black metallic MB due to his dark complexion by Pantai Remis DAP assemblyman Nga Kor Ming in 2011.
Zambry’s first stint as mentri besar was in May 2009 following the collapse of the now-defunct Pakatan Rakyat government when the latter lost its simple majority after three assemblymen declared themselves as BN-friendly.
Zambry, a three-term assemblyman for Pangkor since the 2004 elections, was re-appointed MB after BN won 31 of 59 seats in 2013.
Asked about his proudest achievements to date, Zambry pointed to the surge in the state’s reserves and a decline in the number of people living in poverty.
“When I came in, the reserves were at six to seven hundred million ringgit…. now we have reached more than RM1 billion.
“We never borrowed any money from the federal government, while poverty has been reduced significantly. The hard core poor now stands at only 0.30 per cent,” said Zambry.
He is also proud of Ipoh’s coronation as one of the best cities in Asia by renowned travel website Lonely Planet in 2016, where the city took the sixth spot and was the only city in Malaysia to make the list.
On why he continues to develop Ipoh despite the city being a stronghold of DAP, Zambry stressed that he cannot be discriminatory when it comes to development.
“My development principle derives from the concept of development equity, where development is distributed throughout the district as well as the kampung (village) area.
“Ipoh however is not the only centre of growth in Perak…. in Parit Buntar and Tanjung Malim we have seen significant growth for the past nine years,” said Zambry.