PENANG Barisan Nasional is fielding nine new faces for parliamentary seats and 21 fresh candidates for state seats in the general election.
Penang Barisan chairman Teng Chang Yeow said this constituted 70% new faces in the total 13 parliamentary seats and 60% new faces in the 40 state seats.
Umno will see 11 new faces being fielded including two for parliamentary seats, while MCA has 10 fresh candidates with four contesting in parliamentary seats.
Gerakan is introducing eight new faces including three for parliamentary seats and MIC has a fresh candidate contesting a state seat.
The youngest candidate is Gerakan’s Jason Loo Jieh Sheng, 31, who is Teng’s special assistant.
“All component parties have started their campaign machinery and this is the first time Barisan is holding such an event with all the component parties to announce the candidates,” he said during a press conference after the announcement and handing over of appointment letters to Barisan candidates at Eastin Hotel in Penang yesterday.
He added that the candidates and their supporters are in high spirits.
“We go into the battle with the mindset and confidence to win.
“The people will decide whether we win or not,” he said.
Teng said the decision for him to contest the Bukit Tengah state seat was a strategic move decided by the party leadership.
When asked about claims by Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng that he (Teng) was afraid to contest on the island, Teng said it was not about being afraid or not.
“It is about strategic move.
“When they move candidates like DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang and Liew Chin Tong (outgoing Bukit Bendera MP), does it mean they are also afraid to contest where they were?” he asked.
Commenting on Guan Eng’s statement that the he would spring a surprise announcement for the Bukit Tengah seat, Teng said: “I have had many shocks from him already and he got many shocks from me as well.”
On the recent activities by 1Malaysia Penang Welfare Club which has been organising several dinner functions and handing out donations to charities, Teng said the club is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) which supported Barisan.
He also denied that Barisan had put up the 1Malaysia flags.
“We can only convey to the supporters who had put up the flags to do it properly.
“We will put up the party flags after nomination, unlike the Opposition which has already started putting up their party flags everywhere,” he added.
When asked about the People’s Progressive Party not being allocated any seat in Penang, Teng said the party had accepted the state Barisan’s decision.
“However, at national level, Gerakan had given up two seats to PPP,” he said.
Teng also warned those who were not named as candidates against any sabotage attempts.
He said those who did so would be expelled.
“Those who want to contest as an independent after being announced as a party candidate will also be expelled.
“There are only 53 seats but the number of aspiring candidates goes beyond that,” he said, adding that party interest should be above self-interest.
Also present were former Prime Minister Tun Abdullah Ahmad Badawi, Penang MCA chairman Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen, Penang Gerakan chief Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan, Penang Umno chief Datuk Zainal Abidin Osman, Penang MIC chief Datuk G. Rajoo and Penang PPP chairman Datuk Dr Loga Bala Mohan.