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Tuesday January 29, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Monday April 22, 2013 MYT 3:05:23 PM
by nigel edgar
KUCHING: There will be no BN direct candidates in the coming general election.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said as of now all candidates who were being considered by BN were from component parties.
“We hold on to the principle that all candidates are picked from BN component parties. (And) for Sarawak, at the moment all candidates are from (BN) component parties,” he told a press conference here yesterday.
Of late, talk is abound on the possibility of BN direct candidates in Sarawak in the coming parliamentary elections, particularly in the persons of Mas Gading incumbent Datuk Dr Tiki Lafe and Hulu Rajang incumbent Datuk Billy Abit Joo.
Dr Tiki is now partyless after being sacked by SPDP for gross insubordination and the party has nominated Anthony Nogeh Gumbek to replace him in the seat. Dr Tiki, however, is still harbouring hope of being re-nominated by BN as he seeks re-election for the fourth term.
He has also maintained that he would be defending the seat on BN ticket, resulting in talk that he could be a BN direct candidate.
When met at Muhyiddin’s function in Siniawan last night, Dr Tiki, nevertheless, refused to comment about the direct candidacy.
As for Hulu Rajang, the situation appears to have quietened down a lot since Abit first made public his dissatisfaction with PRS president Tan Sri Dr James Masing’s decision to replace him with new face, Wilson Ugak.
Ignoring Masing’s declaration that PRS had nominated Ugak, Abit has soldiered on as if he is bound to defend the seat.
Talk of direct candidacy is actually nothing new each election but the fact is that there has only been one direct BN candidate ever to contest in Sarawak and it is Abit. He won the 1995 general election in Hulu Rajang as a direct BN candidate but joined the now defunct PBDS and later PRS.
Meanwhile, Muhyiddin said he believed internal bickering within BN component parties could be resolved in time for the election.
He told reporters that during his meeting with state BN leaders at the PBB headquarters on Sunday night, he was briefed on the situation in the state and that any squabble within the parties would be resolved promptly.
“They (component parties) are taking initiatives to resolve their issues. They are showing determination to find solutions because the factions involved understood that as we are approaching the polls everyone must be united.
“There cannot be any squabble which can affect the image of parties representing BN which would then affect the parties’ performance during the election. I am confident they can resolve their issues,” said Muhyiddin.
He added that as far as Sarawak was concerned, the state was ready to face the election at any time, although he remained tight-lipped on the dates. He said he was confident that BN would continue to dominate rural voters with bigger majority.
Muhyiddin said based on reports from the ground and the change in trends and attitude of voters, BN might be able to wrestle back some of the seats which it had lost to the Opposition.
“We put our focus on a few areas. Seats we have we will defend and increase support ... and for the lost seats we will find ways to gain voters’ support.
“We have a good chance in the urban areas in the coming polls because of major development brought by us (BN) and some changes in the voters’ attitude. However we still need to work very hard to ensure success,” he added.
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