PETALING JAYA: Less than 48 hours before the nominations, both Barisan Nasional and Pakatan Rakyat are finding it hard to convince the majority of their members and supporters about the suitability of their candidates for the Hulu Selangor by-election.
Internal dissatisfaction over the issue is causing friction in both camps.
Dissatisfied factions in the Barisan and the Pakatan are already talking about taking extreme measures to sabotage their coalition’s chosen candidates.
The Barisan will name its candidate today and chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Najib Tun Razak has already confirmed that it would be from the MIC.
However, there were already many disgruntled voices within the party following reports that its deputy president Datuk G. Palanivel, the only name proposed by party president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, might not be fielded.
Some MIC leaders have threatened to close the operation centre if the Barisan leadership rejected Palanivel.
A leader who declined to be named had suggested that if the Barisan could not respect the party’s choice, then it should “hand” the seat back to Umno which had initially wanted it.
“Our dignity is on the line,” he said. Another went a step further by suggesting that the party should consider leaving the coalition altogether.
It is no secret that some local leaders are against the Barisan fielding Palanivel who was Hulu Selangor MP for four terms prior to losing the seat to the PKR in the 2008 general election.
Other candidates shortlisted by the Barisan are MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan and MIC information chief P. Kamalanathan.
In the Pakatan, the decision to field Datuk Zaid Ibrahim also did not go down well with certain groups within the PKR and PAS.
The choice of Zaid, who is not from Selangor, has left many state PKR leaders fuming.
In fact, during the ceremony to name Zaid as the candidate, conspicuously missing was the party’s strongman from Selangor, vice-president Azmin Ali.
It is understood that a few were already talking about fielding a local Malay candidate to sabotage Zaid.
Another group that is unhappy having Zaid as a candidate said they plan to “slow down”.
“We want the Pakatan to lose to teach the leadership a lesson for ignoring others in the decision-making process,’’ said a disgruntled MP.
The PKR and PAS Youth machinery that had been active weeks before Zaid was announced as the candidate on Tuesday night also halted momentarily as members were taken aback by the leadership’s choice.
PKR Youth chief Shamsul Iskandar Md Akin, one of the 12 candidates shortlisted by the party, admitted that members were taken aback because they were expecting a younger person.
“But I am confident the Youth machinery will be back in full gear soon enough,” he said.
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