Barisan Nasional is not interested in taking power through the back door, says Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
The Barisan chairman and Umno president said instead, it would be a “gentleman” and fight its way back to the top again.
“We have never played from the back,” he said when launching the Barisan election machinery for the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election here.
Ahmad Zahid said it was important for Barisan to stay united and support whoever was chosen as the candidate.
“We do not want any sabotage or threats from anyone,” he said.
Declining to reveal if the Barisan candidate would be from Umno or MCA, he only said the candidate would be a local and that the name would be announced by Johor Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammed.
Ahmad Zahid said among the reasons for Barisan’s defeat in GE14 was sabotage from within, besides what he claimed were lies and false promises spread by Pakatan Harapan.
He urged all in Barisan to work together and with PAS as a team to wrest the seat from Pakatan.
Also present was state Umno chief Datuk Hasni Mohammed and Johor PAS commissioner Abdullah Husin.
This will be the first time Umno and PAS will formally work together after sealing a cooperation pact.
Ahmad Zahid said it was important for Barisan to win to give it a louder voice in Parliament.
“Let this by-election be an avenue for the people to send a clear message to the government about the many issues plaguing the country,” he added.
He said Barisan could woo an additional 6,700 voters to support it in the by-election, saying this group comprised Umno members who did not vote in GE14, those who spoilt their votes and PAS members.
Hasni said in his speech that Barisan had tricked Pakatan into believing that its candidate announcement would be made simultaneously yesterday.
“They were tricked by us and announced their candidate at 2pm when they found out that we were going to announce ours at 4pm,” he added.
Hasni said Pakatan was to announce its candidate only on Thursday but changed it to an earlier date when they found out that Barisan would reveal its candidate yesterday.