Perak MB: Not shying away from seeking advice

Perak MB: Not shying away from seeking advice

IPOH: Before May 12 last year, when he was appointed as Menteri Besar, not many people knew Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and the Perak Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) chairman himself admitted this fact.

“I didn’t win the contests for the Tambun parliamentary seat and Chenderiang state seat (in the May 9, 2018 general election) because I was popular. Who knew me before Nobody.

“Why I won Because the people rejected the attitude of the country’s previous leaders. So, we should not have that kind of attitude,” said Ahmad Faizal in an interview with the media here recently, in conjunction with Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) first year of administration in Perak.

Ahmad Faizal, who is widely addressed by the nickname Peja, realises that he is still learning in steering PH in Perak, hence he holds on to the principle of not shying away from asking for advice, especially from the Bersatu senior leaders.

“I am not ashamed to admit that if I don’t quite understand something, I would ask the civil servants if not the state executive councillors,” he shared.

He said one of the secrets to him being able to remain as menteri besar despite facing many tough challenges, was that he always directly asked for advice from Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, as the Bersatu chairman, besides Kedah Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Mukhriz Mahathir, the party’s deputy president.

“I have a good and experienced friend, Datuk Seri Mukhriz, who is among the leaders I always refer to, and I also always seek out Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other leaders if I encounter problems.

“I am lucky that I have strong support from leaders who are far more knowledgeable and experienced than I am,” he said.

From the first day he was appointed as menteri besar, Ahmad Faizal had not been free of various speculations and condemnation, while there were talks going round of a plot allegedly involving certain state exco members to topple him.

Choosing to remain calm and rational, the Perak Pakatan Harapan chairman faced whatever came his way and now one year since his appointment, remains as menteri besar.

“For as long as I am the menteri besar, I will make decisions in the interest of the ‘rakyat’, not only for those who support us (PH), but for the overall interest of the people. This is my promise and commitment as menteri besar,” he said.

Asked since Dr Mahathir had given a score of 5 out 10 for his Cabinet members, what score would he give for his state exco members, Ahmad Faizal mentioned 6 out of 10 and said that he was satisfied with their performance thus far.

Meanwhile, Ahmad Faizal expressed regret over those Bersatu members in Perak who still did not realise that Bersatu was part of the coalition that included PKR, DAP and Amanah in forming the federal government.

“Some of the party’s grassroots members had issued very harsh statements, abusing or condemning me if they did not get what they wanted and even when I was unable to pick up their phone calls.

“That was a most regrettable experience for me as I viewed them as fighters for a cause but when The Almighty gifted us with something good, enabling us to form a government, they digressed a bit. I was quite worried about that,” he said.

In the 14th General Election, PH won 27 of the 59 states in Perak, with Barisan Nasional obtaining 29 and PAS, three.

However, PH was able to form the state government with a simple majority of 29 seats, after two BN assemblymen decided to support the PH coalition.

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