PEKAN: Barisan Nasional may not contest the Penanti state by-election if there is a consensus among all component parties that it will be a waste of funds, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said.
The Prime Minister said the Umno and Barisan supreme councils would hold meetings at the end of the month to decide whether to participate in the by-election in Penang.
Najib said he would not rule out the possibility of Barisan not contesting, as the latest by-election was “clearly a political ploy” by the Opposition.
“No, we are not afraid of losing to them but it is a sheer waste of public funds. Whatever decision we are to make, we will take into consideration whether it benefits the people.
“Besides, we would have no qualms about contesting if it was done in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution,” he said at a press conference held at his residence near here yesterday.
Najib said the matter would be raised during the Umno supreme council meeting scheduled before the end of the month, adding that he would also discuss it with the heads of all component parties before arriving at a final decision.
On Umno’s newly appointed office bearers and state chiefs, Najib said he would announce the names after the supreme council meeting.
“I need some time to consult several senior party leaders first as the appointments are the prerogative of the party president under the party constitution.
“I do not know yet if any of the mentris besar or chief ministers would be replaced,” he said, adding that no one should speculate because it would not be fair to the parties involved who might experience “sleepless nights”.
On the political storm in Terengganu, Najib said he would be monitoring the situation closely and had listened to explanations from both factions.
“I hope the state leadership can resolve the situation amicably,” he said, adding that it was important to have a strong team acceptable to all Umno leaders in the state.
Najib also reiterated that no decision had been made by the Government pertaining to the crooked bridge project in Johor.
He also expressed his support for a proposal by the Election Commission to limit the number of supporters allowed at nomination and polling centres.
“We want a smooth election process and no disturbances by any party supporters,” he said.
Source : The Star