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BN looking at new seat allocation formula

 | October 16, 2011

This new formula will take into consideration the emerging political dynamics in the country, says BN chairman and PM Najib.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional is re-looking at its seat allocation formula to suit the current “politically dynamic” scenario, Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak said today.

“We would be discussing with all component parties, they should be open minded and should agree to the ‘best formula’.

“This all emanates from the principle of ‘winnable candidates’,” Najib told reporters at a press conference during the 40th Gerakan National Delegates Conference at the party HQ here.

“In 2008, we used the 2004 seat distribution formula. Now in the new general election, we must see if there are changes in the political dynamics requiring us to make adjustments,” he said.

However, when asked if there would be “plenty of seat swaps”, Najib replied it would not be a total overhaul, but just “some adjustments”.

The prime minister also refused to be drawn into answering questions as to when the general election will be held.

Janganlah tanya! (Don’t ask!),” he said.

Umno will not lead in Penang

Najib also reiterated the assurance he made in his speech earlier at the Gerakan NDC that Umno would not be seeking to take over the leadership of Penang if Barisan Nasional reclaimed the state from Pakatan Rakyat in the next general election.

“We’ve discussed with Umno state liaison chief in Penang. He is also of the same opinion with us that Umno doesn’t need and doesn’t want to seek for the chief minister’s post if BN is given mandate (in the state),” he said.

Najib had said earlier in his speech: “Umno will never claim state leadership in Penang. We’re prepared to work with the component parties in Penang.

“Each of us must offer ourselves to be part of the solution, not part of the problem. We must do that. If we do this, I will not give up on Penang.”

Najib, who is also BN chairman, when asked if the state leadership would remain with Gerakan, said BN was still discussing the matter.

Earlier this year, Penang Umno had made the call for Umno to lead Penang BN and the chief minister’s seat to be given to the Malay-based party as it had won most seats in the northern state.

Opposition ploy

Meanwhile, Koh commenting on Najib’s message, said that the calls for Umno to lead Penang had always been an opposition ploy.

“This follows our formula all this while. This is the understanding that has been long practiced by BN.

“But because of the 2008 general election, because 11 seats were won by Umno, the opposition purposely raised this issue to provoke negative feelings in Penang folks,” he said.

Gerakan, which governed Penang for 39 years with Koh as the previous chief minister, was “wiped out” in the state in the 2008 general election.


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