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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

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Zambry’s ‘peace and prosperity’ strategy to win over voters

By Debra Chong

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 10 — Datuk Seri Zambry Abd Kadir, who was yesterday recognised by the Federal Court as the lawful Perak Mentri Besar, said today he is following a strategy of “peace and prosperity” to win over an electorate that has been sharply split for the past one year by the state’s constitutional crisis.

A recent poll by a local research firm, Merdeka Center, noted his approval ratings at 43 per cent, which is slightly behind that of his predecessor Datuk Seri Nizar Jamaluddin.

Zambry (picture), who was rushing off after chairing a meeting with his executive council at a hotel here, told The Malaysian Insider he hoped the media would stop harping on the split in the electorate.

“We are following a strategy for peace and prosperity,” he said firmly, and added that his administration had been focusing on it for the past one year since taking over from the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) state government.

“We will continue with our investment strategy,” he said.

He declined to comment on the Federal Court decision, which was in his favour, saying he had not yet read the written judgment.

“I don’t want to go into this right now. It’s too technical,” Zambry said adding he would talk to the state lawyers first.

Zambry also asked online news sites to report news of goodwill projects that will promote peace and harmony and not to play up the issue of the discord in Perak, before stepping away into the lift.

Earlier in the press conference today, the novice Barisan Nasional (BN) MB said his government will be launching “Perak Aman Jaya”, a blueprint detailing development projects for the state, next month.

The Perak MB said he has signed four Memoranda-of-Understanding (MoU) during a recent official tour abroad with the prime minister.

Zambry also announced major projects to start soon in the Silver State, including the setting up of several oil refineries, but did not go into detail.

“I’m very happy to tell you all that investors are very much interested to come back to Perak. The confidence level among investors has been rising, Alhamdullilah,” he said.

Zambry appeared relieved that Nizar has given up the legal fight to reclaim the post and promised to work together to put a shine on the Silver State.

“It’s good that he wants to work together,” a smiling Zambry replied when asked to comment on Nizar’s stand that PR representatives would lend their services to put in place the state BN government’s policies so long as it was “good” for the public’s welfare.

“We will extend our open hearts and hands to all good policies introduced by the government,” Nizar, the Pasir Panjang assemblyman told reporters in Ipoh late last night.

But the former MB laid down four conditions on Zambry’s administration.

Nizar said that the PR would give its full cooperation to BN if PR parties were allowed to use public premises to host functions; allowed to sit on the state legislative assembly’s special committees; given state funds of between RM150,000 and RM200,000; and called on Zambry to govern the state honestly, with integrity, and transparency.

“We do not want any policies that are made based on discrimination of races. On this note, we will work together with Zambry so we can banish all elements of racial discrimination and segregation in the state,” said Nizar.

The Pangkor assemblyman added that he had no quarrel with Nizar and dismissed the latter’s claims of having practised discrimination against PR assemblymen in the past.

“We have never discriminated against them on the allocations,” said Zambry, and played down the need for laying down any conditions.

“So no need for conditions. We must help the public. That’s the yardstick,” he said.

He pointed out that his own policy was “very clear”; he would not hesitate to provide the funds if it was for the public’s welfare.