KUALA BESUT: Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has denied that plans announced in the run-up to the Kuala Besut by-election are election goodies.
He said the development plans or initiatives are in line with the national budget which would be implemented when funds become available.
"This is part of the government's responsibility which we are carrying out. It is not planned for the election."
Muhyiddin, who is also the Barisan Nasional (BN) election director for the Kuala Besut by-election, was responding to allegations by certain quarters that initiatives announced were merely to fish for votes.
Muhyiddin, who is also Education Minister, was speaking to reporters at Sekolah Menengah Kebangsaan Alor Peroi here. Also present were Menteri Besar Datuk Seri Ahmad Said and Second Education Minister Datuk Seri Idris Jusoh.
Muhyiddin said the government would still carry out its responsibilities even during an election.
He also said the opposition is resorting to character assassination when they questioned whether BN candidate Tengku Zaihan Che Ku Abdul Rahman is a local in the constituency.
Muhyiddin said he was surprised by reports that Tengku Zaihan is not from Kuala Besut because his parents are still working there.
However, he believes the locals know better and expressed hope they would not fall for such lies.
Earlier in his speech, Muhyiddin said if BN continues to receive the mandate to administer the country, it would not budge from its policy of providing education opportunities to ensure a brighter future for all Malaysians.
Meanwhile, Said denied the opposition's allegation that the state government was involved in land grabbing in Kampung Layout, a site where 72 apartment units will be constructed.
He said the homes will be given to fishermen for free as their current homes are being threatened by severe erosion and waves.
He said during PAS' reign of Terengganu, it had bypassed the district office when distributing land and used its own forms.
"The land still belongs to the government," he said.
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This article first appeared in The Edge Financial Daily, on July 17, 2013.
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