KUALA LUMPUR, April 14
(Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional (BN) would not be over-confident in the
Hulu Selangor by-election, but its election machinery would instead work
real hard for a win, said Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin
Muhyiddin, who is also BN deputy chairman and Umno deputy president,
said BN would adopt a cautious attitude and work diligently in facing
Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), which had named Datuk Zaid Ibrahim at its
candidate for the by-election.
"As usual, we will not
to too confident or over-confident as it is difficult to read the
voters' attitude. They may say yes but behind us it's no, or vice versa.
"What is important is for us to work hard. We cannot take things for
granted even though some people say we should be able to win back this
seat. It's a bad start if we feel that way. We need to be cautious," he
said when asked about BN's chances in the by-election at a news
Muhyidding had earlier opened the 14th Malaysian Education Summit at
the Sunway Pyramid Convention Centre, near here.
"Well, we've got equal chances. I believe that based on the current
sentiments under the leadership of the prime minister (Datuk Seri Najib
Tun Razak), the wind of change has blown and the economy is improving,
while other factors should also give us the edge. I hope the voters will
consider all the factors when casting their votes," he said.
He noted that PKR had also activated its election machinery.
"I have been informed that the Menteri Besar (Tan Sri Abdul Khalid
Ibrahim) has now occupied the (Hulu Selangor) District Office for the
party's by-election operations. Never mind...we have our own strategy to
Asked on the selection of Zaid, a former minister in the Prime
Minister's Department, as the candidate for PKR, Muhyiddin said he was
made to understand that it was because Zaid had a lot of money.
"So, it's not because he can serve. Who doesn't know Zaid Ibrahim?
Anyway, it's their (PKR) choice, and we will face him."
Muhyiddin, however, believes that the voters in Hulu Selangor want a
local to represent them.
He said the PKR candidate had gone in and out of political parties and
this could be a factor for the voters to consider when choosing the best
candidate to represent the constituency.
Muhyiddin was also asked about BN's gamble in fielding a candidate from
the MIC in a Malay-majority area.
"The voters may not look at the race aspect, but who they think can
help solve their problems. They would want someone who know about and
understand the problems in the constituency," he replied.
MIC plans last-ditch pitch for Palanivel
By Baradan Kuppusamy
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — The MIC has called for an emergency meeting
of its central working committee (CWC) tonight, as its tussle with Umno
over the choice of candidate for the Hulu Selangor by-election
Just a day before Barisan Nasional (BN) is supposed to announce its
candidate, it is still unclear if MIC and its president, Datuk Seri S.
Samy Vellu’s choice — Datuk G. Palanivel — or the Umno-backed V.
Mugilan, the Hulu Selangor MIC division Youth leader, will be named.
Samy Vellu (right
) has been waiting to meet Deputy
Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin all day to press his case for
Palanivel, as discontent continues to grow in the ranks of party members
over what they see as Umno’s bullying tactics.
Despite several meetings between Samy Vellu and Umno leaders over the
week, no agreement has been struck.
Telephone calls and text messages started going out about at 5pm
today, to summon the 37 CWC members for tonight’s meeting.
Several CWC members told The Malaysian
they had mixed feelings about the meeting and its outcome.
“We have always been close to Umno… if Umno really wants to put its
candidate over the MIC’s choice, I am really surprised,” one CWC member
“This matter should not have come to this level. I am really
surprised,” another member said.
Of the 37 CWC members, only two are aligned with Samy Vellu’s former
deputy, Datuk S. Subramaniam, while one is considered neutral.
The rest are all strong supporters of the MIC president.
This meeting, a CWC member said, would also consider issuing a strong
statement against interference in MIC matters and reaffirm the party’s
decision to endorse Palanivel as its sole candidate for the by-election.
Grassroots leader wants MIC to review BN membership
By Adib Zalkapli
KUALA LUMPUR, April 14 — With the Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership’s
apparent endorsement of a V. Mugilan candidacy in Hulu Selangor,
grassroots MIC leaders are now calling for the party to review its
position in the coalition.
“If at all the president’s suggestion is rejected, then MIC should
seriously think of its status in Barisan Nasional. Everyone here feels
the same but they couldn’t bring themselves to say it,” said Ampang MIC
deputy chief A.S. Balagurunathan.
He earlier attended a joint press conference with 18 of the 22 state
MIC division chiefs to declare their support for four-term Hulu Selangor
MP Datuk G. Palanivel to be the BN candidate.
“This is our maruah (pride). It has never happened before where a
party’s decision is interfered with by other component parties,” he told
The Malaysian Insider.
MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has backed his deputy
Palanivel to contest the seat that he lost in Election 2008 to PKR’s
Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad.
But BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Razak had said that he would have
the final say on candidate selection, while Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin has
declared that a “local” would be fielded, a remark seen as an
endorsement to MIC Youth deputy chief V. Mugilan.
The ruling coalition is expected to name its candidate tomorrow, two
days before nomination on April 17.
“He is the most suitable leader. He was a former deputy minister, and
now party deputy president so he can fight heavyweight candidates like
Zaid,” said Balagurunathan referring to the PKR candidate, former Law
Minister Datuk Zaid Ibrahim.
He added that Umno had no right to interfere in MIC affairs as he
claimed that the Malay party was the reason for the BN’s poor
performance in Election 2008.
“And if not for Umno, we would not have lost Hulu Selangor, the
result of the last election was caused by Umno’s arrogance,” he said.
Palanivel lost to Zainal by a narrow 198 majority but all three state
seats in the constituency, Hulu Bernam, Batang Kali and Kuala Kubu
Bharu, remained under BN’s control.
The Indian party too is disappointed with the lack of support from
other component parties in urging the BN leadership to respect its
“Who is Datuk Chua Soi Lek to say Palanivel is not a suitable
candidate,” said an MIC insider who claimed that the MCA president had
spoken up against fielding the former deputy minister at the BN
management committee meeting on Monday night.
“They should know if this can happen to MIC, it can happen to other
component parties,” he added.
Another state MIC leader said the local machinery will most likely
boycott the by-election campaign if Palanivel is not chosen.
“All 73 branches will close our operation centres. No more campaign,”
he told The Malaysian Insider.
The Selangor MIC grassroots leaders are also set to launch personal
attacks against Mugilan, which has started with the revelation that the
MIC Youth deputy chief was not born in the constituency.
“He has a court case and police reports against him. All these will
be used if he contests. Zaid will win for free,” said a Selangor
Mugilan had filed a suit against the Tamil Youth Bell Club for his
removal as vice-president late last year, but he reportedly said early
this week that he is withdrawing the challenge.
Hulu Selangor by-election: Race to win over Chinese voters
SUSAN Chong, a 42-year-old housewife from Kampung
Chuang in Rasa, admitted that she "helped" deliver the Hulu Selangor
parliamentary seat to Parti Keadilan Rakyat in the March 2008 general
"I was a faithful BN voter until 2008 when I gave
my vote to PKR. It was due to the performance of the then-member of
parliament and arrogance of some Barisan Nasional leaders," she said,
recounting her decision to the New Straits Times this week.
Ahead of the April 25 by-election, political parties from both sides of
the divide now estimate up to 70 per cent of the 16,891 Chinese voters
-- half of MCA's 8,000 members included -- backed PKR in the 2008
The seat was won by PKR's Datuk Dr Zainal
Abidin Ahmad by a slim majority of 198 votes.
also 1,466 spoilt votes, which came as a huge surprise to all. At least
20 per cent of those were thought to have been cast by the Chinese
electorate as a sign of protest.
The Chinese swing is a
recurring feature across Hulu Selangor.
Take Hulu Yam Lama, a 90-per cent Chinese-majority
area, where 395 out of the 623 voters opted for PKR. In Kampung Baru
Kalumpang, with a similar voter-profile, only 388 of 1,035 voters went
BN campaigners for the April 25 by-election, which
was brought about by the death of Zainal Abidin, are banking on the
displeasure having dissipated.
Pakatan campaigners are also
expecting some of the Chinese voters to return to BN.
Preliminary surveys conducted by MCA and DAP have produced identical
findings -- Chinese voters are not telling them of their preferences.
Lau Weng San, chairman of the DAP by-election working committee,
said: "They have been very cautious, tentative."
are now citing poll results.
An independent study commissioned
by the BN showed that BN and the Pakatan Rakyat each commanded a 23-per
cent support. The outcome of the by-election now rests with the
Their decision will boil down to one
critical criterion -- the choice of candidates.
candidate will make or break us," said MCA Hulu Selangor division chief
Wong Koon Mun, explaining the significance of the battle for the
undecided Chinese voters, which stood at a huge 54 per cent.
Of particular interest this time around will
be the 30-per cent outstation voters, who ordinarily are in the 35 to 50
age group and working in the Klang Valley.
They are politically-savvy and get their information
from various sources instead of relying on traditional media.
Dr Sivamugan Pandian, a political analyst at Universiti Sains
Malaysia, said: "These voters are very much issue-centric and they will
play a big role in convincing their parents and families on who to vote
As such, both MCA and DAP have been working overtime
to track them down to persuade them to come back and vote.
the ground, MCA and DAP are battling it out, with DAP reaching out to
the young via the Internet and the alternative media.
Selangor is a rural constituency. Most of the Chinese are either in
towns or new villages.
"Compared with the DAP, the MCA has a very
strong presence there," Lau said.
Prior to the March 2008
general election, DAP had one branch office in Kerling. Since then, the
number of offices has grown to 10.
MCA, too, has reviewed its
Instead of the banking on the usual meet-and-greet
strategy, the party is depending on its 8,000 members to deliver the
MCA president Datuk Seri Dr Chua Soi Lek said: "We
want to ensure that not only all 8,000 members come out to vote for BN,
that they to persuade their families and friends to do the same.
"If the 8,000 members can do this, then we are confident of winning
with a huge majority."*******