BN chief Najib Abdul Razak today declared that BN’s candidates for the 13th general election is final, after handing the name lists to the ruling coalition’s respective component party heads.
“This is the final list, and we don’t anticipate any changes. I hope a situation doesn’t arise that will need changes.
“Legally, technically, it can still be changed. But we are hoping this is final,” he told a press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
Najib said 33 percent of total parliamentary candidates and 49 percent of state assembly candidates comprise new faces.
“This is in line with the wishes and expectations of voters to see a renewal in BN and Umno,” he said.
However, he added that experienced candidates were still required to ensure that BN can smoothly implement its manifesto when it forms the government after the general election.
Details wise, Najib said 91 percent of parliamentary candidates has at least diploma level qualification and 31 percent of these are professionals.
“They include professors, former civil servants, doctors, lawyers and even religious scholars,” he said.
Asked if there were concerns that those who were not nominated would be disappointed, Najib replied, “I’m more worried about the disappointment of the rakyat”.
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar (right), when approached by journalists, said he was happy with the list.
“There are youths among the candidates and we are quite satisfied with the list, we will announce tomorrow,” he said.
BN state chiefs tightlipped
All state BN chiefs were equally tightlipped, insisting that they would only announce the state assembly candidates tomorrow.
“We will announce (their candidate list) simultaneously tomorrow. For my state, I will announce it at the menteri besar residence at 10.30am tomorrow, it’s embargoed for now,” said caretaker Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan.
“I haven’t seen the list yet, it’s sealed in the envelope. Tomorrow, tomorrow,” said Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow when he was swarmed by journalists.
Meanwhile, smaller BN component parties announced their seats today while larger parties are expected to only announce their parliamentary candidates later today after receiving the list from Najib.
“We did not get 100 percent what we wanted, but the priority is for BN to win so we accept the list.
“I will email the candidates list to all the media later, there is no time to do a press conference now,” said Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon (left).
Meanwhile, MCA is expected to announce its parliamentary candidates this evening, including for the Wangsa Maju and Gelang Patah seats, which have been disputed between MCA and Umno.
“I have discussed (with Najib) about the seat (Gelang Patah) but it is not appropriate for me to say here.
“Wait for a few more hours, I will call a press conference after I scrutinise the list,” said MCA president Chua Soi Lek.
Heavyweights go to state seats
Meanwhile, People’s Progressive Party (PPP) president M Kayveas announced that the party will contest the parliamentary constituency of Kepong.
It will also contest four state seats – Kota Laksamana, Manek Urai, Pasir Bedemar and Kota Alam Shah.
Despite the final list being released, Kayveas said the Kota Alam Shah seat in Selangor and Pasir Bedemar seat in Perak will have back up candidates.
“Kota Alam Shah will be between (PPP vice-president) Maglin Dennis D’Cruz and a journalist who I will not name while Pasir Bedemar will be Kerk Guan Chuan but if he cannot solve his problems, then I will replace him,” he said.
Kayveas (right) said PPP leaders are going for the two state seats as they want to help win back Perak and Selangor.
However, he noted all the seats PPP got were those that were lost in the last general election.
Meanwhile, Sabah-based Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Liew Vui Keong said he was satisfied as the party will contest in one parliamentary seat and four state seats.
“We will get one extra seat, which is Likas, and we also got back Karamunting, so total we have five seats including parliamentary and state seats,” he said.