KUALA TERENGGANU: Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak will announce Barisan Nasional candidate for the Kuala Terengganu parliamentary by-election when he visits the state next week.
Speculation had been rife that he would name the candidate yesterday when he was here to attend two functions but he decided to play his cards close to his chest.
It is not appropriate for me to make the announcement,Â he told reporters after handing a cheque for RM408mil as part of the oil royalty to Mentri Besar Datuk Ahmad Said.
The money was the balance of the oil royalty which the Terengganu government was to receive in 2007.
I have received the list of five shortlisted candidates (from the state Umno liaison committee chairman Datuk Ahmad Said) and I will unveil it very soon,Â he said.
Earlier when launching Barisan by-election machinery at the Islamic Civilisation Park, Najib said he received the mandate to announce the candidate from Barisan president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“God willing, I will be back here next week to make the announcement. Today I will not do so as my mission is to launch the election machinery, he said.
Ahmad, Umno vice-presidents Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam, Umno youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Tun Hussein and Umno information chief Tan Sri Muhammad Muhd Taib were at the function.
Umno sources said that Kuala Terengganu Umno division chief Senator Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh was most likely to be the candidate for the seat.
They said Wan Ahmad Farid, who is Deputy Home Minister, has the support of most Umno branch leaders and grassroots and other Barisan leaders.
PAS is expected to name its candidate on Dec 21 and the names mentioned are state PAS commissioner Datuk Mustafa Ali, former Batu Burok assemblyman Wan Abdul Mutalib Embong and incumbent Batu Burok assemblyman Dr Syed Azman Syed Nawawi.
Najib said Barisan could not afford to lose the by-election on Jan 17.
The Umno deputy president said Barisan victory would be proof that the coalition was still the favoured choice of the people.
We want to give a clear indication to all that Barisan is the choice of all Malaysians as it can serve the people effectively while safeguarding the rakyat future and welfare.
Who the candidate is is not important, but the chosen one should be well liked by the constituents,Â he added.
Source : The Star