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Huge victories by PH and BN in upcoming state elections crucial for unity government's survival

Publish date: Sun, 19 Mar 2023, 05:11 PM

BUTTERWORTH: The results of the state elections in six states, expected to take place soon, will determine the survival of the unity government.

DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke said huge election victories in Penang, Selangor, Negri Sembilan and Kedah would be crucial for the unity government, formed as a result of the collaboration between Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Barisan Nasional (BN) at the national level, to continue to lead.

Loke said a huge victory in Penang would help maintain the federal government administration, which is led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

"Only with a huge victory in Penang can we help maintain the unity government. Today's government needs to be maintained because only then can we foster unity and bring progressive policies for the country.

"If this unity government is overthrown and fails to defend itself, the new government that will replace us will take our country backwards.

"We cannot allow any fraction, particularly religious extremists, to lead our country," he said when opening the Penang DAP annual convention held at the Penang International Convention Cultural and Arts Centre (PICCA) at Butterworth Arena here.

Present were national DAP chairman Lim Guan Eng and state DAP chairman Chow Kon Yeow.

Loke, who is also Transport minister, said the stability of the unity government at the national level would also give advantages and stability to the Penang government.

This, he explained, was because if DAP did not form the unity government at this time, Penang would continue to be marginalised in terms of allocations as done by the previous governments, including after the fall of the PH government in February 2020.

"The 'Sheraton Move' had replaced a Federal Government that was not pro-Penang. It marginalised and neglected Penang. Development projects were set aside, and all this was bound to hinder development in the state.

"But today, we are in the unity government, and our spirit in this government is that we will not marginalise any state.

"Even though I am a minister from DAP, I will take care of all the people and all the states," he added.

Meanwhile, Lim told the 700 delegates present at the event that they must prevent extremists, who doubted Penang's sovereignty, from capturing the state government in the coming state election and ensure only those who defended Penang's sovereignty had the right to rule the state.

"It is our responsibility as Penangites and constitutional duty to our children to defeat the extremists who doubt Penang's right to exist.

"We are here today to commit ourselves towards winning the next state election.

"Penang voters demand a clean and positive contest in the coming state election in July that is free of lies, threats and hate; focusing on people who can manage the economy better to make Penangites' livelihood better; and without inflaming sentiments of racism and extremism that can jeopardise national unity.

"PH and DAP will offer Penangites that clear and unequivocal choice of providing a clean and positive contest that Penang will be cleaner, greener, safer, healthier and digitally smarter, as well as offer all Penangites equal opportunity, a better future for their children and uphold their constitutional rights regardless of race and religion," he said.

Lim also said Penang DAP leaders and members must help PH achieve a convincing win in Penang, not just for Penangites, but also for the country.

"A convincing win in Penang would have the two-fold purpose of not only securing our children's future and Penang as a symbol of good governance but also helping to reinforce the stability of our unity government in Putrajaya under Anwar will last the full five-year term.

"A win in Penang is a win for Putrajaya's efforts to defeat the extremists and racists who use lies, hate and threats to whip up sentiments to undermine, sabotage and overthrow our democratically elected government," he added.

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