GEORGE TOWN: The cohesiveness within Penang Umno places it in good stead to not only retain existing state seats, but to wrest back other seats it lost in the 2008 polls, state Umno secretary Datuk Azhar Ibrahim said.
Commenting a report on a news portal which claimed that the four state seats won marginally in the last general election may be vulnerable because of internal rivalry and sabotage, he said Penang Umno was united and stronger than ever before.
"In fact, we not only stand a better chance of retaining these four seats with a bigger majority, but we can also wrest back the seats we lost in the last election, such as Sungai Bakap, Batu Uban and Penanti seats," he told the New Straits Times yesterday.
The four seats in question are Sungai Acheh (won with a majority of 250), Pulau Betong (294), Teluk Bahang (465) and Seberang Jaya (533), which are at present held by Datuk Mahmud Zakaria, Muhammad Farid Saad, Datuk Seri Dr Hilmi Yahya and Datuk Arif Shah Omar Shah respectively.
On internal rivalry and sabotage, Azhar said it was the Pakatan Rakyat pact which was experiencing this, citing the use of the word "Allah".
Muhammad Farid said the relationship among the Balik Pulau Umno division head, deputy and himself was good.
"I do not see any threat of sabotage.
"It is common for supporters to have differences of opinion," he said, adding that their mission was to win back the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat.
The seat is currently held by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Yusmadi Yusoff.