Barisan Nasional (BN) will evaluate its candidates for the 14th general elections (GE14) using a “new and tough” system that has failed even top leaders from its component parties, Prime Minister revealed today.
The BN chairman said the system had been used in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections, in addition to the Sarawak state election, and had proved its effectiveness with component party Umno.
“If you don’t meet the minimum criteria, you will not even be considered, period,” Najib, who is also Umno president, told English daily Sunday Star in an interview.
“That makes it easier for me as president of the party. If they didn’t pass, it is not because of me but because of merit.
“There is nothing I can do, they have to accept the fact that they lost,” he added.
In May, BN had won 72 seats out of 82 up for grabs in the Sarawak election, while its candidates Budiman Mohd Zohdi and Datin Mastura Yazid both claimed victory in the Sungai Besar and Kuala Kangsar by-elections respectively in June.
Najib said BN previously did not have an objective method for choosing candidates in 2013, but with the new method even demands for local candidates by party divisions will be subjected to the test.
“When I came up with the principle of winnable candidates, many considered themselves as winnable when in fact they are not,” he said.
Sunday Star reported that the race to be selected as BN candidate is very intense, with some candidates who had failed even resorting to sabotaging those who got picked.
“But what they have to realise is that the final choice is with the leadership and that has always been the case,” Najib added.
GE14 must be held on or before August 24, 2018, but Najib has remained coy when asked whether it will be held in the first or second half of next year.
“Not necessarily, it can be later. I’m enjoying this speculation. Let people go on speculating,” he said.
Source : The Malay Mail Online