The BN chairman was said to have met component party leaders yesterday.
BN chairman and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak was said to have met with component party leaders including those from Sarawak to deliberate on the line-up yesterday.
“It is learnt that the Prime Minister cum Barisan Nasional chairman met the presidents of MCA and MIC as well as heads of the Sarawak parties to discuss the list yesterday.
“Najib met them separately to discuss the names in the list, according to sources,” said MCA-owned English daily The Star.
The newspaper added that the coalition’s East Malaysian leaders had also confirmed their respective submissions of list of candidates to Najib.
His own party Umno is also in the final phase of preparation, vetting out shortlisted candidates by checking with their divisions, according to party secretary-general Tengku Adnan Mansor.
It was said that the party headquarters has so far contacted about a third of the 191 Umno divisions to get their feedback on the shortlisted candidates.
“What our Umno president wants are candidates the rakyat want. So we need to check and counter-check the names submitted by the divisions,” he was quoted as saying.
Najib is expected to call for national polls within these few months with speculation rife that he is likely to hold elections after the tabling of the 2013 Budget on Sept 28.
His approval rating dropped by 5% in May from March’s 69% according to a survey conducted by independent polling house Merdeka Centre although support from the country’s ethnic majority remains firm with a 4% increase.
Analysts say the prime minister is now going full-throttle in efforts to win Malay support as minority votes continue to dive.
Significant increase in Malay votes is enough for Najib to restore BN’s two-thirds majority in Parliament but analysts say dipping Chinese and Indian support would likely jeopardise his economic reform plans.
Dependence on Malay support means Najib may have to pander to the party’s hawks who oppose the BN chairman’s plans to open up the economy although some analysts believe otherwise.
Opposition Leader Anwar Ibrahim on the other hand claimed his bloc Pakatan Rakyat is on track to form the new government with a “comfortable majority” although pundits say that is unlikely.