Friday, February 21, 2014

'BN Must Contest In Kajang, Says Perlis MB', Bernama, 20 February 2014


KANGAR, Feb 20 (Bernama) -- Perlis Menteri Besar, Azlan Man said Thursday the Barisan Nasional (BN) should field a candidate in the Kajang state by-election, polling for which is on March 23.

Azlan, who is deputy chairman of the Perlis UMNO Liaison Committee, said victory or defeat was secondary.

The primary consideration was that the by-election would enable the BN to learn the people's change of attitude, he told BERNAMA after he had addressed staff of the Perlis Community Development Department (KEMAS), in Kangar.

Azlan said that though Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) won the seat with a big majority in the last general election, it did not mean that there would not be a change now.

The Kajang state seat fell vacant after the assemblyman, Lee Chin Cheh of PKR, resigned on Jan 27 to pave the way for PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat.

Anwar is said to be eyeing the post of Selangor menteri besar.

Meanwhile in KUALA LUMPUR, several politicians and political analysts are of the view that BN need not contest in the Kajang state by-election if it does not want to be seen as 'dancing to the drum beat' of the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR).

The politicians and political analysts said that BN should make an indepth study so as not to be trapped in PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim's political ploy.

In fact, there were demands for Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, who helms the BN leadership, not to contest in the Penanti state by-election in Penang in 2009 because the seat was not vacated due to the provisions of the constitution.

The Penanti by-election was held in 2009, following the resignation of incumbent Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin from PKR, with the excuse he wanted to further his studies, besides clearing his name from allegations of corruption.

Sabah BN deputy chairman Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak said BN needed to focus on efforts to reduce the people's burden and organise the country's economic structure, instead of paying attention to the opposition's political woes.

"In my personal opinion, let Pakatan Rakyat continue to play their kind of politics while BN continues to serve the nation and take care of the people's fate," he said in his blog.

Salleh said BN should consider not placing a candidate in Kajang because, in reality, the by-election was being held to fulfill Anwar's political desires.

"Given that Kajang is said to be MCA's traditional seat, we are of the view that MCA must focus on efforts to strengthen the party under the current leadership and prepare for the next general election," he noted.

The Election Commission has set March 23 as polling date. March 11 is nomination day.

Meanwhile, Wanita MCA chief Datuk Heng Seai Kie said the by-election was a drain of funds, deliberately held to solve PKR's internal crisis.

"Feedback (which) I received from the grassroots say if we contest, we dance to their tune. It will be a loss to the country as the money can be used for infrastructure development and aid to the poor," she said when contacted.

She said MCA, which recently concluded its party elections, needed more opportunities and efforts to focus on party transformation and better delivery service to the people.

Universiti Utara Malaysia (UUM) Politics and International Studies lecturer Md Shukri Shuib said it would be better the by-election was boycotted by all quarters, if the incumbent's resignation which was made without any concrete reason, was not investigated and no legal action was taken.

"It is not our intention to boycott democracy but there must be respect for the law.

"This is not a question of being afraid, or who the hero is or not. If you want to become a hero, it is better to join wrestling as this is a better political strategy but if there is no necessity or interest, then it is better to avoid a contest," he said.

Universiti Sains Malaysia's Social Science Studies Centre lecturer Dr Sivamurugan Pandian said previously, BN did not contest in Penanti due to a similar scenario.

He was of the view that BN should continue to uphold the same resolution which indirectly, would show its political maturity.

Sharing similar sentiments, UiTM Alumni Association, in a statement, said the by-election should not be forced on the voters in the area, who had only cast their votes less than a year ago in the 13th General Election.

"It goes against the principles and practices of democracy. As such, BN need not take part in the by-election," it said.


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