|February 24, 2008 15:51 PM|
Early Indication BN Will Get Mandate, Says PM
KEPALA BATAS, Feb 24 (Bernama) — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi described the success of Barisaan Nasional (BN) candidates in winning some seats unopposed as an early indication of BN getting the mandate to rule the country.
“That is good news, it is of course a sign of confidence in our party. I know in Selangor (BN won), and also in Johor. I have yet to obtain the entire information,” he told a press conference after the nomination process at the Seberang Perai Sports Council Complex, here Sunday.
In the March 8 election, Abdullah would defend his Kepala Batas seat and would be challenged by Pas candidate Subri Md Arshad BN has so far won uncontested in six parliamentary seats including four in Sarawak. The seats are Kalabakan (Sabah), Pengerang (Johor) and the four seats in Sarawak namely Konawit, Selangau, Kapit and Tanjung Manis.
BN was also returned unopposed in the state seats of Bugaya (Sabah) and Sementa (Selangor). Abdullah hoped that BN would repeat the success it achieved in the 2004 general election where it obtained the two-third majority and enabled the party to continue to rule the country.
He also gave an assurance that the Cabinet to be formed after the election would be a good one comprising the young generation and those with experience. Commenting on the nomination process today, Abdullah said that he was happy as it went on smoothly.
“To-date, I have not heard of any problems occurring anywhere, I am happy and want to thank the authorities who have managed to control the situation and thus enable the nomination process to run smoothly,” he said. Abdullah said that if given the mandate, BN would ensure that the country remained successful and peaceful after 50 years of independence.
As for the selection of candidates, Abdullah said that BN had scrutinised their background first before they were selected to ensure only the best candidate would contest.
“We check with the Anti-Corruption Agency, the police, court and the Insolvency Department to ensure that a candidate is not a bankrupt,” he said.
Citing an example, he said that yesterday a candidate was not listed as he has a court case.
“We are cautious when it comes to selecting candidates,” he stressed.
In Pekan, Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak also commented on the success of the BN candidates, saying that it clearly indicated that the party could put up capable candidates compared to the opposition.
He said that the opposition’s strength was not widespread compared to BN which was able to feature candidates who could work for the people in their respective areas.
“In fact we have already known of some areas where the opposition party is weak and finds difficulties in getting a candidate wanting to contest,” he told reporters after submitting his nomination paper at the Dewan Konvensyen Sultan Ahmad Shah to defend his Pekan parliamentary seat.
“So, if we win that area uncontested, it clearly shows that the opposition party’s strength is limited and does not cover all areas, whereas BN’s strength encompasses parliamentary and state seats,” he said.
Najib, 55, will be challenged by Khairul Anuar Ahmad Zainuddin, 31, from Parti Keadilan Rakyat.
Asked about his younger opponent, Najib said: “That is normal, I have faced younger and older opponents before.”