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BN Believes It Has Kelantan In The Bag
By Syarifah Hunaini Syed Ismail
After three years holding the reigns of the BN and Umno in the state, Datuk Seri Annuar Musa said he was confident that BN would from the next state government with a two thirds majority in the 45-seat State Assembly.
He believes the winds of change in Kelantan politics has swung in the BN's favour since the 2004 general election when the BN won 21 of the 45 state seats. BN later won Pengkalan Pasir in a by-election in Dec 2005, tipping the scale of power further towards the coalition with Pas only having 23 seats to the BN's 22.
Annuar said, to realise its goal, the BN would continue to bring development to Kelantan and at the same time prepare candidates of high calibre to contest in the polls.
"All future State Assemblymen must possess high intelligence and "99.99" percent of them must be degree holders," he said in an interview with Bernama at his house here.
Annuar said the opportunity to serve the people was wide open to young professionals who can bring about the BN's mission of developing the state and reducing the number of hardcore poor in Kelantan presently at about 19,000 households.
However, Annuar stressed that grassroots leaders and incumbent assemblymen would be retained.
The change of support towards the BN was largely due to the leadership of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi who never left out Kelantan in the BN's development programmes, he said.
"Billions of ringgit have been allocated for the development of the state and the allocation under the Ninth Malaysia Plan is also great," he said, adding that the latest was the launching of the East Coast Economic Region (ECER), which really revealed the earnestness to develop Kelantan.
He said the Kelantan BN and Umno would also strive to translate the "feel good" factor into votes for the Barisan Nasional.
Saying that Umno and Pas in Kelantan were almost even in strength, he reasoned that whichever side managed to increase its unity and strength would tip the scale and win the polls.
"I am happy because Kelantan Umno is in tip-top condition. We are united at all levels," he said, adding that any signs of splits within the party were nipped in the bud, unlike in the old days.
Annuar, 51, who became a people's representative at the young age of 28, said that he had prepared the list of candidates for the coming polls and would submit it to the Umno President, who is also the BN chairman, soon.
"We have erased all problems within the party and the election machinery is ready and will roll as soon as Parliament is dissolved," he added.