Apr 16, 2010

Tun Mahathir to give Hulu Selangor a miss

Former Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad will not be campaigning in the Hulu Selangor by-election, although his name has surfaced several times in the run-up to nomination day.

KUALA LUMPUR, April 16 — Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said today he will not campaign in Hulu Selangor but has asked the voters to choose Barisan Nasional (BN) in the April 25 by-election.

“I’m not going to campaign but if people want to use my name, it’s up to them. I don’t care,” he told reporters here after speaking at a Majlis Amanah Rakyat (MARA) event.

The former prime minister last took an active role for BN in a by-election campaign last April in Bukit Selambau, a state seat, and Bukit Gantang, a federal seat. The BN lost both.

But that did not stop him from offering his advice to the voters there.

He urged the 64,500 voters in the parliamentary seat to tick BN even if they may know next to nothing about its candidate.

MIC information chief, P. Kalamathan, was named yesterday after the earlier nominee, four-term Hulu Selangor MP Datuk G. Palanivel, was rejected by Umno, the ruling front’s senior partner.

“As far as Barisan Nasional is concerned, we should not think of just the candidate. We should support the party.

“It’s the party which gives power so please choose the party. A candidate by himself cannot do anything,” Dr Mahathir said, when asked to comment on the choice of candidates in the Selangor seat.

The Hulu Selangor by-election was called following the death of PKR MP Datuk Dr Zainal Abidin Ahmad earlier this month. PKR had won it two years in the 12th General Election, ending the BN’s control.

But Dr Mahathir noted that the ruling government’s chances of wresting the seat back from the opposition bloc were “as good as any, provided people are not influenced by emotion but a proper evaluation of the contributions.”

Asked to comment on Pakatan Rakyat’s (PR) man for the by-election, Datuk Zaid Ibrahim, Dr Mahathir said: “He’s a man who claims he has contributed a great deal to Malaysia so up to the electorate to audit his contributions.

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