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H Selangor elections: BN Will Not Be Over-confident In Hulu Selangor By-election - DPM

Contributed by Anonymous on Wednesday, April 14 @ 08:17:36 CDT

National: Politics
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 Yassin.

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 conference Weddnesday.

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 secure victory."

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 continues. 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 Insider 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 said. “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 choice. “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 division leader. 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 election. "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 parliamentary contest.

The seat was won by PKR's Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad by a slim majority of 198 votes.

There were 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 for BN.

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."

Both sides 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 "fence-sitters".

Their decision will boil down to one critical criterion -- the choice of candidates.

"The 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 for."

As such, both MCA and DAP have been working overtime to track them down to persuade them to come back and vote.

On the ground, MCA and DAP are battling it out, with DAP reaching out to the young via the Internet and the alternative media.

"Hulu 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 strategy.

Instead of the banking on the usual meet-and-greet strategy, the party is depending on its 8,000 members to deliver the votes.

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."*******



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