Barisan Nasional electoral candidates list almost ready but subject to changes — Najib


KUALA LUMPUR: The list of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the 13th general election is almost ready but is subject to changes even up to the moment of the announcement, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said last night.

He said the changes were necessary to ensure that the selected individuals were winnable candidates and the best.

“Every time we study the list, we are driven to make changes, but we may have not much time (to do that). We check, scrutinise and ponder if there could be a better candidate.

“I believe this process will go on up to the moment that we announce the candidates. There may be changes right up to that time.

“However, the basic list is there. Candidates have been decided for most of the constituencies. We will field those people who have been categorised as winnable candidates,” he said on the “Conversation with the PM” programme aired on TV3.

Najib said the BN would also determine the best possible distribution of candidates among the component parties, ensuring that the candidates were acceptable to the local community and reflected the wishes of the people.

“We have to take into consideration the needs of our component parties because we are a big family of 13 parties. We have to determine distribution that we feel reflects the composition of the BN family.

“It is not necessarily so that we can meet the aspirations and demands of all quarters at the level of the constituencies but we will try to determine the best possible candidates,” he said.

Answering a question from a reader of the New Straits Times daily on electoral reforms, Najib said the government was committed to strengthening the electoral process and stressed that elections in Malaysia had always been conducted in a free and fair manner.

“If elections were not done in that way, we (the BN) would not have lost our two-third majority and five states in the 2008 general election. Kelantan won’t be ruled by the opposition for more than 20 years,” he said.

Najib said the government had also considered some of the demands by various groups, such as Bersih, and most of the demands had been met.

“For the first time, we will introduce the indelible ink (to mark voters) in our upcoming election. For the first time also, Malaysians living overseas will be allowed to vote,” he said. —Bernama