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BN looking at new seat deals

 | July 2, 2012

An analysis presented at the BN meeting last Friday showed MIC and Gerakan to be the weakest of the lot while Umno and MCA seen to have gained ground.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional component parties have been told not to openly make demands for seats or lay claims over them for the coming general election.

They have been reminded that all seats belong to BN and would be allocated to component parties in accordance with the respective party’s strengths.

This message was delivered strongly by BN chairman and Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak to all component party leaders at a council meeting held last Friday.

“No BN parties are now guaranteed seats based on the number of seats they had contested in the 2008 general election,” said a BN leader who had attended the meeting.

“The PM made it clear. He said no one can claim any right over any seats, even if it was their traditional seat,” added the leader who wanted to remain anonymous.

This decision will also mean “weak” component parties such as Gerakan and MIC – both senior partners in the coalition – would most probably sit out from contesting in some of their “traditional” seats. And, in return, some of the smaller parties are expected to get extra seats to contest.

Najib’ reminder was also aimed at bickering component parties in Sarawak.

The BN leader also said that an analysis of all parties was given at the meeting where Najib laid bare his expectations from his component partners.

“The analysis showed that only Umno’s power base remained intact and that they are ready for the elections while MCA has gained support and is performing well on the ground,” said the BN leader.

However, he added that concerns remained over the performance of MIC and Gerakan – the two biggest losers in the last general election.

“Based on the analysis, MIC is not strong in any area while Gerakan does not seem to have recovered from the bashing they got in 2008.

“However, the PM noted that the new Gerakan team in Penang seem to be effective,” added the senior BN leader.

Nevertheless, he added that even in Penang, MCA was seen to be doing better than Gerakan in gaining the Chinese support.

Another meeting in 40 days

As for MIC, the BN internal analysis showed that the party had failed to regain the Indian support, although its president G Palanivel had apparently informed the prime minister that the party was slowly gaining the trust of the Indian voters following his (Palanivel’s) ground visits.

The analysis had, however, shown that BN was gaining the Indian support, in line with opinion polls which showed Najib enjoying the support of the Indian community.

The BN leader told FMT that the analysis indicated that Indian support was returning to BN through the other smaller Indian-based parties, and through Najib’s direct contact with the community.

The analysis has showed that PPP was gaining strength in certain states while the component parties in Sabah were also said to be holding strong.

“The only problem for the Sabah component parties is that they want a new chief minister,” added the BN leader.

He said Najib had given all component parties 40 days before another round of analysis is examined. Seats will be allocated after that.

“All parties have been warned in the meantime not to claim any right of seats or demand it belongs to them. The seats will be allocated based on ground performance,” said the BN component leader.

He added that based on Najib’s call for another round of analysis, and to be followed by rounds of discussions over seats, the general election is only likely to be held after Najib presents his budget on Sept 28.


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