GE15: BN ready for the polls, says Tok Mat

SEREMBAN: Barisan Nasional is ready to face the national polls in the event Parliament is dissolved next month, says Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan (pic).

Mohamad, who is also the coalition's deputy chairman and election director, said Barisan's list of candidates would be finalised after he concludes his trip to meet Umno representatives in Sabah as the general election could be called at any time.

"I have met all Umno liaison committees in the peninsula in recent weeks and will leave for Kota Kinabalu tonight for three days.

"Except for some minor improvements, Umno's election machinery is more or less ready.

"And once Parliament is dissolved, we will already be in top gear," he told reporters when met after launching a health and safety mini expo held by residents' associations in Bandar Sri Sendayan on Saturday (Sept 10).

Mohamad said he had met representatives from MCA, MIC and PBRS prior to this where they were already told to state the seats they wished to contest.

"My committee will sit with representatives from our component parties and finalise this after my Sabah trip.

"I believe there will also be some seat swapping among us as the priority is to win the polls.

"It will be pointless for us to field a candidate from the same party in an area where we have lost three or four times," he said.

Mohamad said he did not expect any problems if there were to be swapping of seats.

He said it was crucial for Barisan to come up with new strategies if it wanted to form the next government.

The Rantau assemblyman said it was also pointless to stick to the previous quota system on the number of seats if Barisan was not able to wrest those it lost three or four elections ago.

"If we want to go to war, we must ensure that we know what we need to do.

"We not only need to know our strengths and weaknesses alone but we must have knowledge of our opponent's strategies and weaknesses.

"We have no other option but to apply the best strategies as the priority here is to win and form the next government," he said, adding that it was also crucial for Barisan to gauge and win the support of young voters.

When asked for the criteria for Umno's candidates, Mohamad said the respective states and divisions would be asked to propose the names.

He said although the party would also field new faces, veteran candidates who were winnable would also be considered to defend their seats.

"Yes, we need new faces but we cannot say no to older candidates who are winnable.

"Like I said, the priority here is to win," he said.

Asked if it was confirmed that he would be contesting the Rembau parliament seat, Mohamad said nothing had been finalised.

Elaborating, Mohamad said he had prior to this only stated that it was time for him to contest a parliamentary seat after having served as Rantau assemblyman for four terms.

"I am now deputy president and it is time for me to contest a Parliament seat.

"I cannot stop others from saying that I should contest in Rembau," he added.

Health Minister Khairy Jamaluddin had been the Rembau MP since 2008 and was also Mohamad's deputy in the Umno division.

On Monday (Sept 5), Khairy had said he was prepared to step aside and make way for Mohamad if he decided to stand there.

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GE15 , Mohamad Hasan , Barisan Nasional


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