KUALA TERENGGANU, Dec 20 (Bernama) — Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak reminded leaders to give priority on Barisan Nasional’s (BN) victory in the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election on Jan 17 instead of thinking about the party election.
The Deputy Prime Minister said he was aware that some of the Umno leaders who came to assist the BN election machinery here had been nominated to contest in the party election in March.
“I’m aware that the Umno election is not over yet. So, I don’t want those involved in the election machinery to focus on the Umno election instead of the major task to achieve victory for the BN candidate.
“So, this is a reminder to those concerned so that such things will not happen,” he told reporters after chairing a meeting of the Terengganu BN at the Menteri Besar’s residence at Seri Iman, this afternoon.
Earlier, Najib announced to approximately 4,000 BN supporters that Deputy Home Minister Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, who is also the Kuala Terengganu Umno division head, had been selected as the BN candidate for the by-election.
The Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election is being held following the death of Deputy Education Minister Datuk Razali Ismail on Nov 28.
Commenting further, Najib, who is also Umno deputy president, said he noticed that understanding between the Umno and BN leaders in facing the by-election was very good.
“All parties, including the BN wings, had given their commitment to work hard and contribute in the best possible way to ensure victory for the BN candidate,” he said.
With the early announcement on the BN candidate, the Deputy Prime Minister said that the party could make early preparations for the by-election, which would start on the nomination-day on Jan 6.
“We can start the by-election in an environment where there will be less internal problems with the Umno machinery being very strong. Our candidate is the (Kuala Terengganu) Umno head himself.
“This is also the candidate chosen by the 103 branches (in Kuala Terengganu Umno) and the candidate is also supported by the BN component parties. (In fact) we believe that with less internal problems, the Umno machinery is very strong,” he said.
Earlier, in his speech during the announcement of Wan Farid, 46, as the BN candidate, Najib called on the Umno leaders and members to place the interests of Umno and the BN above personal interest.
“I hope we have no other agendas or conspiracies,” he said.
He said the by-election was crucial to the BN to regain its dignity after the party lost in the Permatang Pauh by-election on Aug 26, besides repaying the deeds of the late Razali who had contributed a lot in the field of education in Kuala Terengganu.
In addition, it was also to give the mandate to the Terengganu government under Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said to continue with the programmes to bring development to the people and state in future.
Najib said Umno and the BN had faced various challenges and they had succeeded in overcoming them..