Penanti: Memacak calon bebas, alternatif BN (updated 6.56pm)

Anwar: Umno mungkin taja calon bebas di Penanti
Muda Mohd Noor | May 19, 09 4:14am
Ketua Pembangkang, Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim berkata, Umno tidak bertanding di Penanti kerana parti itu tidak sedia bertarung dan menyerahkan kuasa kepada rakyat untuk membuat pilihan.

Beliau yang juga ketua umum PKR berkata, alasan Perdana Menteri, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak adalah tidak munasabah kerana ini pertama kali Umno tidak bertanding apabila ada kekosongan kerusi.

“Dalam apa jua alasan, jika ada kekosongan Pakatan Rakyat menyerahkan kepada kebijaksanaan dan keputusan rakyat.

“Hujah ini satu helah kerana Umno selalu tabik dada (mengaku) kuat dan relevan,” katanya kepada wartawan selepas ceramah di Taman Medan Petaling Jaya malam tadi, sempena pelancaran kempen penerangan “Krisis Perak: Kembali Pada Rakyat”.

Semalam, Dewan Tertinggi BN memutuskan tidak akan bertanding dalam pilihanraya kecil Penanti. Perdana menteri memberi tiga sebab BN menolak bertanding kerusi tersebut.

bullet button Pertama, kekosongan kerusi itu bukan diperuntukkan oleh perlembagaan tetapi satu usaha PKR untuk menyelesaikan masalah dalamannya.

bullet buttonKedua, pilihanraya kecil ini satu permainan politik pembangkang.

bullet button Ketiga, BN lebih mengutamakan khidmat kepada rakyat dan langkah memulihkan ekonomi negara.

Najib juga menafikan BN takut tewas di kerusi tersebut.

Ceramah dapat permit

Mengulas lanjut, Anwar bagaimanapun berkata, Pakatan menghadapi kemungkinan Umno akan menaja calon bebas di Penanti.

“Itu belum pasti, bagaimanapun Pakatan akan terus bekerja untuk menghadapi pilihanraya tersebut,” katanya.

Sementara itu ketika berucap di majlis tersebut, Anwar mengulangi pendirian Pakatan yang mahukan DUN Perak dibubarkan dan menyerahkan kepada rakyat untuk membuat keputusan.

Katanya, Pakatan menghormati Istana tetapi yang membuat keputusan bukan Istana, bukan hakim tetapi rakyat.

“Di Perak kita yakin akan menang lebih besar kerana (rakyat) mahukan perubahan,” katanya.

Selain Anwar, beberapa pemimpin Pakatan turut berucap di majlis tersebut.

Kira-kira 5,000 orang membanjiri kawasan lapang di Taman Medan untuk mendengar ceramah mengenai krisis politik di Perak.

Ceramah tersebut mendapat permit polis.

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Confirmed! BN not contesting Penanti
Andrew Ong | May 18, 09 6:51pm malaysiakini.com
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MCPX

Barisan Nasional will not be contesting in the Penanti by-election on May 31, announced Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak today.

najib tun razakThe decision was made following a BN supreme council meeting chaired by Najib this afternoon.

The decision was not a major surprise as Najib had previously indicated that the ruling coalition was not interested in ‘wasting public funds’ by taking part in the by-election.

The seat fell vacant following the resignation of the former Penang Deputy Chief Minister (I), PKR’s Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin. PKR has already named Mansor Othman as its candidate.

Several independents are expected to contest for the seat. Nomination day is on May 23.

‘Our focus is on public service’

penanti state seat penang 200409Talking to reporters after a two-hour meeting, Najib said the Penanti seat did not become vacant as necessitated by law but was instead due to PKR wanting to resolve its internal problems.

The vacancy is also because of a political game by the opposition, he added.

“BN’s focus is on serving the people and reviving the nation’s economy. Thus, we decided not to field a candidate,” he said.

Najib said that the decision not to contest was unanimous and he was made to understand that this was not the first time that BN would not be contesting in a by-election, but did not elaborate.

On possible disappointment by BN supporters, Najib said that they would understand that the party was avoiding being part of an opposition gimmick and that the party’s interest was above all else.

‘We don’t want to be drawn into their gimmick’

“We don’t dance to (the opposition’s) tune… We don’t want to be drawn into their gimmick. If not, three months down the line, they will force another by-election elsewhere,” he said.

When asked if the ‘no-contest’ decision was akin to betraying the voters, Najib said: “We will still continue to serve the constituents of Penanti and Permatang Pauh through our own channels”.

He also denied that BN backed out of the Penanti by-election over fear of losing.

“In any event, we will be facing the rakyat in the upcoming general election,” he said.

Penanti is a state seat under the Permatang Pauh parliamentary seat held by PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim.

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Businessman to contest as independent
Athi Veeranggan | May 18, 09 11:48pm
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MCPX

Just hours after Barisan Nasional had ruled itself out of contesting in the Penanti by-election, a local businessman has put himself up for the running as an independent candidate.

Mohd Saberi Othman, 49, said his candidacy was inspired by grassroots demand in Penanti, which is his hometown.

mohd saberi othman independent candidate for penanti penang by election 190509 03“I am local boy and have a lot of friends in Penanti. This is the main reason that motivated me to contest in this by-election,” said the electoral debutant.

He claimed that he had served the armed forces as a rank and file, and was never a member of any political party and he is an “outright independent candidate”.

“I am here to make friends with all and help all communities irrespective of their political beliefs, ethnic and religious backgrounds,” he told a packed press conference in a hotel in Bukit Mertajam, Penang mainland.

His announcement added another potential independent candidate for the by-election.

Former PKR state women chief Aminah Abdullah has already unveiled her plan to contest as an independent candidate a month ago.

mansor othman interview 300409 01PKR will field its state deputy leader and former academician Mansor Othman as the party candidate for the seat, vacated by former Penang Deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin on April 1.

Angkatan Keadilan Insan Malaysia (Akim) has also expressed its intention to field a candidate for the seat, but yet to reveal one. Nomination is on May 23 with polling to take place on May 31.

However, the biggest surprise was Umno and Barisan Nasional’s unprecedented decision not to contest the by-election. The decision was made at the BN council meeting today.

No an Umno stooge

A married Saberi, who is running a business in Kuala Lumpur, has six children and two grandchildren.

Asked on his chances to win the by-election, in which PKR is the overwhelming favourite, he said he would leave it to the wisdom of Penanti constituents.

mohd saberi othman independent candidate for penanti penang by election 190509 01“I am offering my sincere and honest service to the people of my hometown. God willing they will vote for me,” he said.

Asked whether he would withdraw at the eleventh hour from the contest, he said he would not compromise on his principles.

Instead he said he would prefer others, including Mansor, to pull out from the race and allow him to win unopposed.

“I have made up my mind to contest the by-election. I will not compromise and change my mind.

“Perhaps others can withdraw and allow me to win free,” he said, refuting claims that he was sponsored by Umno or any other interested parties.

His electoral theme will be based the multi-racial concept of Malaysia and he would carry out more door-to-door campaign to woo the voters.

When asked whether it would save public time, money and energy if Mansor were allowed to win unopposed, he said: “Why should PKR be given a free ride?”

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