Malaysia’s 13th General Election

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Najib's approach systematic and well organised: Analysts

KUALA LUMPUR: Systematic and well organised.

This is how some political analysts describe the process of naming the Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates for the upcoming 13th general election (GE13) including the handing-out of the "watikah" or document of candidacy to them, all carefully planned by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Abdul Razak.

They feel that Najib was also able to resolve the arising issues over the allocation of seats for all the BN component parties by prioritising winnable candidates.

The approach used by the BN chairman is also seen as a strategy of managing one thing after another, unlike the opposition's which was haphazard and unnecessarily "loud" when announcing their prime candidates or those wishing to contest a certain seat.

They see the parties in the opposition pact as not being cohesive or on the same wavelength when all their leaders started making one announcement after another on a candidate or seat to be contested, making the process appear disorderly.

Political observer and analyst Datuk Dr Zainal Kling said Najib was always open to discussion and made the decisions together with the component party leaders and state BN chairmen, which showed their oneness.

"This is unlike the opposition grouping, Pakatan Rakyat, where they seem to be unable to resolve a lot of things and are quarrelling over the seats they want to contest.

"Imagine, if this they can't resolve, how are they going to lead the nation? It's messy and we'll all be in trouble," he said.

Yesterday, Najib handed out the "watikah" for the BN candidates to the respective state BN chairmen at the Putra World Trade Centre, here, enabling them to make the announcement on the candidates after that.

Najib, who is Selangor BN chairman, also announced its candidates yesterday.

Prof Emeritus Datuk Dr Sulaiman Md Yassin from Universiti Putra Malaysia (UPM) said the process of naming the candidates this time showed another good democratic practice having been absorbed by the ruling coalition.

"This move shows that the candidates at the state level realise and understand that the state BN chairmen have been given the responsibility to manage matters so that the process is smooth and orderly.

"They (candidates) cannot move to the highest level of the party hierarchy if they are prolematic. They must be on the right track or follow the right path. This is what you call discipline and BN has stressed enough on this aspect for all its candidates."

According to him, the process practised by BN and transformed by Najib should be commended as it emphasises meticulousness and takes into consideration various aspects such as loyalty to the party and unity.

Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia's Social Science and Humanities Faculty deputy dean, Assoc Prof Dr Mohd Fuad Mat Jali said BN's process of selecting and naming its candidates reflected strong solidarity among its component parties.
"This requires close cooperation as although the process is traditional, it has been made to be clear, practical and systematic.

"This is to avoid overlapping of authority, demands for seats, or three- or four-cornered contests involving component parties like what is happening in the opposition pact.

"We need to know that the people are watching all our actions and moves throughout the process and they tend to choose the party that is more systematic, well organised and cohesive in doing things," he said.

The nomination of candidates for all contesting parties in GE13 is this Saturday and polling is on May 5.

The Election Commission has fixed 15 days for campaigning compared to 13 in the last elections in 2008.

A total of 13,268,002 Malaysians are eligible to vote this time to elect the  representatives for the 222 parliamentary seats and 505 state seats.-- BERNAMA

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