Najib: BN's candidate list 'final', hopes no changes
The BN candidates lists for the 13th general election are final, BN chief Najib Abdul Razak declared today after handing the name lists to the heads of the ruling coalition's component parties.
"This is the final list, and we don't anticipate any change. I hope a situation doesn't arise that will need changes.
"Legally, technically, it can still be changed. But we are hoping this is final," Najib told a press conference at the Umno headquarters in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon.
He said 33 percent of the parliamentary candidates and 49 percent of state assembly candidates are new faces.
"This is in line with the wishes and expectations of the voters to see a renewal in BN and Umno," Najib said.
However, he added, experienced candidates were still required to ensure that BN could implement its manifesto smoothly when it forms the government after the general election.
Details wise, Najib said 91 percent of parliamentary candidates have at least diploma level qualifications and 31 percent of these are professionals.
"They include professors, former civil servants, doctors, lawyers and even religious scholars," he said.
Asked if there were concerns that those who were not nominated would be disappointed, Najib replied, "I'm more worried about the disappointment of the rakyat".
Umno Youth chief Khairy Jamaluddin Abu Bakar ( right ), when approached by journalists, said he was happy with the list.
"There are youths among the candidates and we are quite satisfied with the list, which we will announce tomorrow," he said.
BN state chiefs tightlipped
All state BN chiefs were equally tightlipped, insisting that they would only announce the state assembly candidates tomorrow.
"We will announce (the candidates) simultaneously tomorrow. For my state, I will announce it at the menteri besar's residence at 10.30am tomorrow. It's embargoed for now," said caretaker Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohamad Hasan.
"I haven't seen the list yet, it's sealed in the envelope. Tomorrow, tomorrow," said Penang BN chief Teng Chang Yeow when he was swarmed by journalists.
Meanwhile, smaller BN component parties announced the seats they would contgest this afternoon, while larger parties are expected to reveal their parliamentary candidates later today, after receiving their lists from Najib.
"We did not get 100 percent of what we wanted, but the priority is for BN to win, so we accept the list.
"I will email the candidates list to all the media later. There is no time for a press conference now," said Gerakan president Koh Tsu Koon ( left ).
Meanwhile, MCA is expected to name its parliamentary candidates this evening, including for the Wangsa Maju and Gelang Patah seats, which have been disputed between MCA and Umno.
"I have discussed (with Najib) about the seat (Gelang Patah) but it is not appropriate for me to it say here.
"Wait a few more hours. I will call a press conference after I scrutinise the list," MCA president Dr Chua Soi Lek said.
Heavyweights go to state seats
Meanwhile, People's Progressive Party ( PPP) president M Kayveas announced that his party would contest the Kepong parliamentary constituency in Kuala Lumpur.
It will also contest four state seats - Kota Laksamana, Guchil, Pasir Bedamar and Kota Alam Shah.
Despite the final list being released, Kayveas said the Kota Alam Shah seat in Selangor and Pasir Bedamar seat in Perak would have back-up candidates.
"Kota Alam Shah will be between (PPP vice-president) Maglin Dennis D'Cruz and a journalist who I will not name," he said.
Kayveas ( right ) said PPP leaders were going for the two state seats as they wanted to help keep Perak and win back Selangor.
However, he noted, all the seats PPP was given to contest were those that were lost in the last general election.
PPP's confirmed candidates are A Chandrakumanan (Kepong), Chiw Tiang Chai (Kota Laksamana), Kerk Guan Chuan (Pasir Bedamar) and Nik Sapeia Nik Yusof (Guchil).
Meanwhile, Sabah-based Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) president Liew Vui Keong said he was satisfied as the party would contest one parliamentary seat and four state seats.
"We will get one extra seat, which is Likas, and we also got back Karamunting. So, in total we have five seats," Liew said.