May 18, 2009

PM Najib : No contest from BN for Penanti by-election

The Barisan Nasional has decided not to contest the May 31 by-election in Penanti, coalition chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak announced on Monday. “We feel it is an unnecessary by-election; we will not join in the Opposition’s political games,” he said after chairing a Barisan supreme council meeting.

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

The 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

Talking 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

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