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Abdullah Refuses To Be Drawn Into Speculation On Candidates

Contributed by Anonymous on Thursday, February 14 @ 19:16:38 CST

National: Politics
KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 14 (Bernama) -- Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi today refused to be drawn into speculation on the fate of a few Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders in the March 8 general election. Abdullah, who is also BN chairman, repeatedly said: "I've not seen the candidates' list yet."

The Prime Minister said that even the heads of BN component parties were not guaranteed of a seat if they were not recommended by their parties.

"That's what we do (party heads will usually be recommended as candidates). If they recommend their names, we'll consider. If they don't, we can't force them," he told reporters after chairing the Umno Supreme Council meeting.

Abdullah, who was bombarded with questions on the fate of Works Minister and MIC President Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu, said: "I haven't decided yet...maybe when the list comes, he may not put his name on the list."

The Prime Minister was also asked on the intention of former MIC deputy president Datuk S. Subramaniam to contest in the election and the rumours about a minister from Perlis being excluded from the state's list.

Pressed further on Samy Vellu's fate, Abdullah said: "I don't know what's going to be there (on the list), let me have a look first, so stop asking me because I haven't seen the list yet."

Asked about Samy Vellu's recent announcement that he would defend his Sungai Siput parliamentary seat, the Prime Minister said: "Anybody can say anything to the press, later on they do something else."

Abdullah said he would comment on the BN candidates only after seeing the lists submitted to him by the party leaders.

"I will meet state BN leaders to discuss the candidates' list. Not today but another day to be decided later," he said.

The Prime Minister also did not rule out the possibility of more women candidates being fielded in this election.

"Hopefully, there'll be women candidates, God willing, more than from previous elections, I guess so...I've not seen yet (the list)," he said.

Asked on the biggest challenge for the BN in this election, he said it was the election itself and the BN would take everything seriously.

Responding to a question on the longer campaign period, Abdullah said it should not be a problem if everybody followed the rules and regulations set by the Election Commission.

The commission had set Feb 24 for nomination and polling on March 8.

To another question on whether the general election was called earlier to prevent Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim from contesting, Abdullah said: "It has nothing to do with that. We've forgotten about Anwar."


Even an army will not stop me, says Samy VelluTh Star
KUALA LUMPUR: Even an army will not be able to stop MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu from defending his Sungai Siput seat. “An army can come but I know how to fight it out,” he said of reports that the Opposition would be fielding a candidate against him. “I will defend woh foong (Cantonese for Sungai Siput),” said Samy Vellu, who has held the seat since 1974. He said he had the full support of the various communities in Sungai Siput and that he had built Tamil, Chinese and Malay schools, hospitals and community colleges in the constituency. “The people in Sungai Siput are with me. They are my strength. I have strived for them and served them. “I have made Sungai Siput a very beautiful town. Not only that, I have solved every problem of the community. I have made Sungai Siput a really good place to live in,” he said. Samy Vellu was confident there would be no Indian vote swing away from the Barisan Nasional. “The Indian voters are all at home and not in the streets,” he said referring to the recent Hindraf protest. On the Barisan supreme council meeting yesterday, he said president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi gave a lot of advice to members. “We will abide by a policy which is unity in the coalition. The Barisan must be united to gain victory.”



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