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Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Tuesday October 15, 2013 MYT 8:04:00 PM
by mazwin nik anis, razak ahmad, AND sira habibu
PETALING JAYA: Umno will be keeping an eye out for any sign of the forbidden “chosen candidates list” at the party’s main body election this Saturday.
Party executive secretary Datuk Rauf Yusoh said it was an offence under Umno’s code of ethics to distribute the list which contains the names of “preferred candidates” for the three vice-presidents and 25 elected supreme council members which the 146,500 delegates will elect.
Known as cai, from cai dan, the Mandarin word for menu or “list of orders”, the list usually carries names of candidates aligned to certain leaders.
For example, if a division leader is aligned to candidate A, B and C, then a list containing their names would be included in the cai distributed to delegates from the division.
Rauf made the warning amid complaints that some candidates had been working together with divisional heads to try and influence delegates on who to vote for.
“Delegates should be free to make their own choice and no one should exert any influence on them,” he said.
Rauf said disciplinary action could be taken against those who did so if reports were lodged to the party’s disciplinary committee.
During Saturday’s election for the party’s wings, a delegate from Merbok Umno Youth claimed voters were not given the booklet but were instead issued with a cai.
The existence of the cai in Umno elections is an open secret and elections held by other political parties have been known to have their own versions.
According to an Umno member, who was involved in voting party leaders during the 1995 Umno elections, the cai was a useful guide for delegates as the party did not provide voters with a list of all the contesting candidates.
With so many candidates to choose from, the cai dan came in handy, he said.
“The list would be printed on small pieces of paper that could easily fit into cigarette boxes so delegates could “smuggle” them into the polling booths,” he said.
The party election this time around is being held under a new system which has increased the number of voting delegates and lowered the entry requirements for candidates to make the party polls more democratic and open.
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Politics, Politics, Umno polls
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