The Star, Saturday February 9, 2008
PENANG: Listen to the people, correct your mistakes and overcome your weaknesses, Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi has told Barisan Nasional leaders.
The Prime Minister said if this was done, the people would continue to support the ruling government and give the mandate to the coalition to continue to lead the country.
“Please listen to their woes and correct our mistakes. If we succeed in doing so, they (the people) will support us,” he said when addressing a 4,000-odd crowd at the Gerakan-MCA joint Chinese New Year open house at the Penang International Sports Arena (Pisa) here yesterday.
Abdullah also said that Barisan component parties should be truly united if the coalition was to remain in power.
He said he had studied many “reports” submitted to him and one of the most important things the people wanted was unity in the coalition.
“They don’t want the component parties to quarrel with one another,” he said.
Abdullah said Barisan component parties worked together closely in making policy decisions at the Cabinet-level.
“We face many problems but we resolve it one by one. If it is not resolved, we don’t decide to forget it. The matter is discussed at the next meeting,” he said.
Abdullah said he had faith in the “goodness” of the people that they would back Barisan in the coming general election although they frequently made “noises”.
On Barisan’s strength, Abdullah said Umno could not succeed on its own, as it has to take care of the aspirations of non-Malays.
Likewise, he said other components parties such as the MCA, Gerakan and MIC could also not succeed on their own.
“That’s why we must work together so that we can overcome our weaknesses. It is easy to break a single bamboo but difficult to break a cluster of bamboos,” he said.
On Penang, Abdullah said he was determined that Penang's second bridge, the Penang Outer Ring Road and monorail project be completed on schedule.
He, however, apologised for the delay in the implementation of some of the projects.