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Friday, July 7, 2017

Zahid hints BN GE14 candidates may not all be division leaders

Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today said that Umno may consider replicating its winning formula in three recent by-elections when finalising candidates to contest in the 14th general election. 
Zahid, who is Umno vice-president performing the duties of the party’s deputy president, said the candidates must be the most likeable in the constituency and not necessarily hold any positions at its division level. 
“The usual consideration of winnable candidate is now no longer enough. The candidates must now be likeable. Even though they may not represent the leadership of a division.
“If we see there are any delegates from a division who are likeable and winnable, then don’t be surprised if the one with no positions is fielded as a candidate,” said Zahid in his speech at the Umno Batu Pahat division meeting this morning. 
He also cited studies which attributed 85 percent of BN’s victory in a seat to its candidate factor, and only 15 percent to other contributing factors.
“This applies to both BN and Umno candidates…,” he said.
Zahid also said Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak’s new approach towards fielding candidates has been proven through BN’s successes in the Sungai Besar, Kuala Kangsar and Tanjung  Datu by-elections.
“Jamilah (Anu) has no positions. She was just the wife of the late Sarawak chief minister. Mastura (Mohd Yazid) was the wife of the (late Kuala Kangsar MP).
“Of course, this doesn’t mean that the wives here in Batu Pahat can pray for their husband’s demise so they can take over and become candidates,” he quipped to laughter from the delegates gathered at the Dewan Jubli Intan in Batu Pahat.
Jamilah and Mastura won the Tanjong Datu and Kuala Kangsar by-elections respectively.
The same consideration was also made in fielding Sungai Panjang assemblyperson Budiman Mohd Zohdi to contest the Sungai Besar parliamentary seat, he added.
Zahid further said he would even be willing to give up his Bagan Datoh seat if there are studies that found he is no longer popular in the area.

“If there is someone who is more likeable in Bagan Datoh and studies found that I am not as likeable, I accept.
“Give it to someone else who can do a better job, if that is really the situation. But as of now, the situation is not like that,” he said.
Batu Pahat Umno, led by Umno supreme council member Puad Zarkashi, is the first division to hold its meeting this year, leading up to the last division meeting on Aug 26.- Mkini

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