Rafidah sounds the alarm for the next general election

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KUALA LUMPUR (Aug 14): An Umno veteran said Barisan Nasional (BN) must begin its campaign to win the confidence of the people from now and not wait for the 14th general election (GE14) to do so. Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz, who is also Umno supreme council member, said BN must carry out programmes to approach the people continuously and not only its members.   "Communal programmes must be harnessed together by the BN component parties to show the people that BN represents the voice of numerous communities and not one community only. She disclosed this to Bernama when asked on the strategy which BN must implement to reap a bigger success in GE14 compared to GE13 in May. "BN component parties must tighten up their respective machinery aimed at approaching the communities especially the young," she said. Rafidah, 70, said early measures must be mobilised now before the arrival of the general election because it was in line with aspirations for political transformation implemented by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. In this regard, Rafidah, who held the International Trade and Industry Ministry's portfolio, from 1987 to 2008, said BN must hold programmes at the grassroots in unison with the component parties to ensure the people knew the BN brand which represented the numerous races. BN, which has 13 component parties and was set up in 1973 to replace the Alliance, had helmed the nation since independence in 1957, anchored by Umno, with Najib as its current chairman. GE13 on May 5, saw BN retaining its position after winning 133 seats out of 222 seats in Parliament and obtaining 275 seats out of 505 seats in the state constituencies in 13 states.