Hilmi quits politics
GEORGE TOWN: Former Balik Pulau MP and ex-deputy health minister Dr Hilmi Yahaya yesterday announced he is quitting politics for good.
Hilmi said, he was resigning from all his positions in Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN), but will remain an Umno member.
“I am ready to assist all quarters in the interest of the rakyat. I pray that Umno will rebound from this defeat, and continue to look after the interests of the Malay community, and all layers of society living in this country,” he said in a statement today.
Hilmi’s announcement comes on the back of his defeat to Pakatan Harapan’s Muhammad Bakhtiar Wan Chik, of PKR, in the recent general election, losing the Balik Pulau parliamentary seat by 6,464 votes.
The Balik Pulau Umno division chief was also a four-term Teluk Bahang assemblyman from 1990 to 2004.
In his statement, Hilmi said the recent GE14 losses suffered by BN were a clear testament of the rakyat’s will, and it had come as a surprise to him, more so due to the heavy losses suffered in the Balik Pulau parliamentary constituency.
“Those who loved us have suddenly deserted us. This is all the will of God. I accept this with an open heart.
“My fellow Umno and BN comrades pray that the candidates who won the Balik Pulau federal seat, and the state seats under it, will provide excellent service, like we did previously,” he said.
Hilmi said under his leadership, Umno and BN had done their best for the betterment of those living in Balik Pulau.
“It would not be too much for me to say that since 1990, Balik Pulau has seen growth, thanks to BN representatives.
“I still remember in 1990, when I first became a state assemblyman, Balik Pulau only had a Mara Junior Science College and a Sekolah Teknik Balik Pulau.
“Since then, I and other partners have developed infrastructure, including roads, bridges, water supply, electrical supply, educational institutions and schools (including vernacular schools).
“This was all thanks to the assistance given by the BN state and federal governments,” he said.
Hilmi said the old-timers in Balik Pulau would surely remember the water supply crisis in 1998 that hit Balik Pulau. The Penang Water Supply Corporation had to send water using lorries to the villages.
He said since then, the water supply to Balik Pulau was connected undersea directly from the plant in Sungai Dua in Central Seberang Perai, aside from relying on the water supply from the Sungai Pinang plant in Balik Pulau.
He also said that the flood problem in Balik Pulau had been largely resolved, leaving only the floods in Teluk Kumbar and Teluk Bahang to tackle.
A police headquarters, court complex, shariah court complex, a district mosque and a district library had also been built at strategic locations. Other projects were the Balik Pulau sports complex, a market complex and the Balik Pulau bus terminal.
Hilmi said his family had to sacrifice a lot when he was serving as a representative for the people, with his wife having to quit her job to take care of their children.
“My children grew up without full attention from me. Even then, I feel very fortunate as my wife cared for them really well. Thank God, they are now all successful.
“That is the sacrifice a wife to an assemblyman has to make. It is my hope that the sacrifices of my family will be rewarded by Allah,” he added.