PAS’s condemnation of the Barisan Nasional (BN) government’s development efforts only goes to show that the opposition party has run out of issues for the campaign in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election on Jan 17, Umno vice-president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said today.

He said PAS should act more matured and not turn such an issue into campaign capital to draw the support of voters by tarnishing the image of its political opponent.

PAS should be sincere in the matter and find out from its supporters whether they really were against development or against development brought by the BN, he told reporters after a visit to the Paloh polling district operations room, here.

“The federal government brings development to the people at all times, not just during elections. There are people who still need assistance. Do not divert attention because of political interests. Call a spade a spade.

“It’s a different matter if PAS says it would be alright if there was no development at all because this world is only temporary. If that is their ideology, it is inconsistent with the requirements of the religion,” he said.

Muhyiddin, who is International Trade and Industry Minister, was commenting on the inclination of PAS to use the issue of development in Kuala Terengganu by claiming that multi-million ringgit projects were implemented because there was a by-election in the area.

The opposition had also played up the issue of “wastage” by the Terengganu state government in the construction of the Crystal Mosque in Pulau Wan Man and the hosting of the annual Monsoon Cup yacht race.

Muhyiddin said the opposition often manipulated the facts and found fault with whatever the government did.

“Previously, the DAP had opposed and boycotted the construction of the North-South Expressway, saying it was a wastage of billions of ringgit. However, the people can now see for themselves that that claim was wrong and baseless.

“The people may fall for their arguments because they have yet to see the results (of the development). Terengganu has been getting attention because it had lagged behind. It was administered by PAS and when the BN took over the administration, we brought in development. This development has been blamed as wastage. We have to consider the long-term benefits,” he said.

Muhyiddin said mega projects such as the KL International Airport (KLIA) and Putrajaya had been cited by the opposition as political gimmicks to fool the people.

“But the people will realise and understand that the opposition talk is not true. The BN leadership takes into consideration all facts when arriving at a decision.

“We do not act in haste but consider first the good and the bad,” he said.

The Kuala Terengganu by-election is being held following the death of MP Datuk Razali Ismail, who was the deputy education minister, on Nov 28.

The BN has named Deputy Home Minister Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, the head of the Kuala Terengganu Umno Division, as its candidate while Pakatan Rakyat (PR) has named Wakaf Mempelam state assemblyman Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS as its candidate.

Nomination for the by-election is on Tuesday.

— BERNAMA