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Rebels, independents and multi-cornered fights

April 20, 2013

A total of 132 parliamentary seats are locked in straight fights, 57 three-cornered battles, 24 four-way fights, seven seats are facing five-way tussles, one a six-way fight and one a seven-way battle.

KUALA LUMPUR: While nomination for the 13th general election proceeded smoothly today, both the ruling and opposition parties had to contend with rebel members standing as independents, exposing the simmering unhappiness over the choice of candidates.

Splits in the opposition pact seemed to have deepened, reflected by allies PAS and PKR fielding candidates in six constituencies, one of which is the Labuan parliamentary seat.

Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Najib Tun Razak rallied component party leaders and members to close the book on candidates and work together as a family to ensure a resounding victory for the BN on May 5.

Najib, who is leading the BN into the polls for the first time as the prime minister, fired up the BN “Gelombang Biru” (Blue Wave) election machinery after submitting his candidacy to defend his parliamentary stronghold of Pekan.

“This is the time for us to continue what we have planned for the past five years. This is the climax. Do not squander what we have accomplished. Pledges made to the people and the BN’s manifesto are our commitment to the voters and the people of Malaysia,” said Najib who wore a baju Melayu in the familiar BN blue colour.

Umno automatically sacked four members, Wanita vice-head Kamilia Ibrahim, former deputy agriculture minister Mohd Shariff Omar, former Kedah exco member Fadzil Hanafi and Gua Musang division committee member Abdul Aziz Mohamed, for standing as independents while the DAP also expelled two members, Kota Melaka incumbent MP Sim Tong Him and member Jenice Lee, for a similar offence.

The hour-long nomination for the 222 parliamentary and 505 state seats at stake went off smoothly despite the large turnout of candidates and supporters for the most intense of general election.

The DAP, which is being investigated by the Registrar of Societies over alleged irregularities in its December party polls, encountered no problems when its candidates used the party’s symbol for the nominations.

Multi-cornered fights

A total of 132 parliamentary seats are locked in straight fights, 57 three-cornered battles, 24 four-way fights, seven seats are facing five-way tussles, one a six-way fight and one a seven-way battle.

A total of 320 state seats are facing straight fights, 107 three-cornered, 42 four-way, 25 five-way, 10 six-way and one seven-way.

The BN is contesting in 221 parliamentary constituencies, one short of the total at stake after a bizarre turn of events in Pasir Mas, Kelantan, where the BN candidate Che Johan Che Pa did not submit his nomination papers.

This left the independent incumbent and Perkasa chief Ibrahim Ali to engage in a straight fight with PAS’ Nik Mohamad Abduh Nik Aziz, the son of Kelantan Menteri Besar and PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat.

In the parliamentary battle, PAS is contesting 73 seats, DAP 51 and PKR 99, with PKR and PAS on a collision course in Labuan to make it a three-way tussle with the BN.

In the contest for the 12 state legislative assemblies, the BN is contesting in all 505 seats while PAS is in the fight for 236, DAP 102 and PKR 172.

PAS and PKR are again clashing in five state seats, namely Kota Damansara (Selangor), Panti (Johor), Sungai Acheh (Penang) and Kota Putera as well as Bukit Besi in Terengganu.

Many of the BN Malay candidates, including Deputy Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin, were also attired in blue baju Melayu when they went to the nomination centres accompanied by their supporters walking in a procession and carrying a sea of party flags.

Najib, who retained Pekan with a 26,464 majority in 2008, is being challenged by a PKR candidate again, this time Fariz Musa, who is a party central council member.

Muhyiddin is again challenged by Mohd Rozali Jamil whom he had beaten in the last general election to defend his parliamentary seat of Pagoh.

Palani’s five-way fight

In Gelang Patah, seen as the battle of battles in this election, Johor Menteri Besar Abdul Ghani Othman and DAP advisor Lim Kit Siang will lock horns in a straight fight in the Chinese-majority parliamentary constituency after an independent withdrew.

This will be Abdul Ghani’s first federal contest since he became the menteri besar in 1995 while Lim is making his first foray into Johor and had targeted Gelang Patah which was won by the MCA in 2008.

MIC president G Palanivel, making a comeback after losing in Hulu Selangor in 2008, found himself with plenty of company in his bid for the Cameron Highlands parliamentary seat.

He is in a five-cornered fight with DAP’s M Manogaran, who is the former Teluk Intan MP, Mohd Shokri Mahmood (Berjasa) and independents NP Kisho Kumar and T Alagu.

In Penang, PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim is involved in a three-way tie with BN new face Dr Mazlan Ismail and independent Dr Abdullah Zawawi Samsudin in Permatang Pauh.

DAP chairman Karpal Singh is in a straight fight with Teh Beng Yeam of BN in Bukit Gelugor while DAP secretary-general and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng faces two first-timers, Chua Teik Siang of BN and Lim Kim Chu of Parti Cinta Malaysia, in his defence of the Bagan parliamentary seat, and Tan Ken Keong of BN for the Air Puteh state seat which Lim had won in the previous polls.

PAS spiritual leader Nik Abdul Aziz Nik Mat, 82, is opposed by Wan Razman Wan Abd Razak of BN in the Chempaka state seat.

In Terengganu, PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang is also in a straight fight against BN’s former Pengkalan Berangan state assemblyman to defend the Marang parliamentary seat and against Nik Dir Nik Wan Ku of BN for the Rhu Rendang state seat.



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