Saturday, April 18, 2009

Najib: BN may not contest Penanti by-election (Update)

Published: Saturday April 18, 2009 MYT 2:40:00 PM
Updated: Saturday April 18, 2009 MYT 5:37:43 PM


PEKAN: Barisan Nasional might not contest the Penanti state by-election if it obtains the consensus of all component parties, said Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

In this context, Najib said he would hold a meeting with the Umno Supreme Council and meet with the presidents of the Barisan component parties to discuss the matter.

"I will raise the matter at the next Umno Supreme Council meeting. If I don't have the time, I will bring it up to the Political Bureau, and discuss with the Barisan component party presidents," he said.

Najib said he did not rule out the possibility of Barisan not contesting as the latest by-election in Penang was clearly a "political ploy" by the Opposition.

"No, we are not afraid of losing to them but it is a sheer waste of public funds.

"Whatever decision we make, we will take into consideration whether it benefits the people," he told reporters at a press conference at his residence near here on Saturday.

On the party’s new appointed office bearers and state Umno liaison chiefs, Najib said he would announce the names after the supreme council meeting.

“I need some time to consult several senior party leaders first as the appointment is the prerogative of the party president under the party’s constitution.

“I do not know yet if any of the Mentri Besar or Chief Minister will be replaced,” he said adding that no one should speculate as it would not be fair to the parties involved who might experience “sleepless nights.”

On the political storm in Terengganu, Najib said he would be monitoring the situation closely and had listened to explanations from both factions.

“I hope the state leadership can resolve the situation amicably,” he said, adding that it was important to have a strong team who could quell any tension and be acceptable to all Umno leaders in the state.

Najib reiterated that no decision had been made by the Government pertaining to the crooked bridge project.

He also expressed his support to a proposal by the Election Commission to limit the number of supporters allowed at nomination and polling centres.

“We want a smooth elections process and no disturbances by any party supporters,” he said.

Earlier, Najib was given a rousing welcome in his home state and parliamentary constituency by some 30,000 people of all races.

It was the first time Najib, the Pekan MP, returned to his constituency as the Prime Minister of Malaysia.

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