KEPALA BATAS: Barisan Nasional candidate for the Bertam state seat, Datuk Seri Reezal Merican Naina Merican, received a boost in his campaign today in the form of Khairy Jamaluddin.
The former health minister joined Reezal on a walkabout in the Kepala Batas old town here.
Met after the walkabout, Khairy said he was here to help a good friend, just like he had done in Jeram, Selangor.
"We are electing a state assemblyman and we need to elect a good leader, more so because an assemblyman is very different from a member of parliament. An assemblyman needs to solve the everyday issues faced by the people.
"I am here (in Bertam) today simply because of my relationship with Reezal Merican. He is a good friend, since my days in Umno.
"Secondly, I know Reezal Merican can work and has vast experience, both in the party and in the government.
"Thirdly, Bertam is Pak Lah's (former prime minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi) kampung and Reezal Merican is the heir to his struggle here.
"I don't want it to end. Pak Lah had been the MP here since the 1970s and Reezal Merican has continued with it, although there were some 'disturbances' in the 15th general election.
"I hope that in this state election, Insya Allah, Reezal Merican will continue with the struggle," he added.
Reezal is engaged in a straight fight with Perikatan Nasional's Khaliq Mehtab Mohd Ishaq.
Asked if he would help Pakatan Harapan, Khairy reiterated he was here to help the candidate.
He said he was also helping other candidates from BN and PN, but not PH.
Asked what would happen if BN, particularly Umno, were to lose half of the 108 state seats it is contesting, he said, "Umno will just make don't know.
"I am here to campaign for Reezal Merican but if Umno 'bungkus', the party will not care."
On the voter turnout on Aug 12, Khairy said it is "very important" for voters to carry out their responsibility and choose the best candidates.
"In Bertam, I know many people may be reluctant to come out to vote for BN due to certain factors.
"But I want to tell them to leave BN aside first and look at Reezal Merican. One vote for Reezal is one vote for Reezal. Nothing more than that.
"One vote for Reezal is not one bite for Zahid (Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi)," he said.
On whether the PH-BN pact has a bright chance to rule Penang, Khairy said it would depend on the situation.
"But in terms of fairness, if the coalition retains power in Penang, surely there is a place for BN in it.
"If you are depending on BN's election machinery and voters, surely there must be someone from BN, for example Reezal Merican," he added.
Meanwhile, Reezal said Khairy's presence served as a boost in his campaigning.
"We have a very close relationship. He is not only my friend, he is like my brother and I am Pak Lah's 'anak didik'. I am touched by his presence.
He added that he has learnt from his loss eight months ago and will reach out to as many voters as possible.