Keadilan Supreme Council member Saifuddin Nasution Ismail has been chosen as the Barisan Alternatif candidate for the Lunas (Kedah) by-election to be held on Nov 29.
A reliable source from Kedah informed malaysiakini of this selection soon after the BA leaders finished a meeting in Kuala Lumpur this afternoon to discuss the lists of candidates forwarded by BA component parties, including from DAP and PAS. The fourth BA component, PRM, did not submit any names.
The source further said that a group of Chinese residents of Lunas had held a gathering earlier today to hand in a petition of 2,000 signatures to BA, demanding a Keadilan candidate be chosen to represent BA.
"The Chinese group voiced their dissatisfaction with BN as they say MCA has failed to stand strong on issues affecting the Chinese community, especially with regard to defending their mother tongue and Chinese schools," said the source.
Although the mainstream media reported that DAP suggested three names and Keadilan listed five, BA leaders declined to say how many names were actually forwarded.
Of the names that were said to have been listed by Keadilan, Saifuddin, a former Umno Youth assistant secretary, seemed the obvious choice due to his popularity.
Possible BN candidate
PRM president Dr Syed Husin Ali who was one of the leaders at the BA meeting said that PAS, too, made a suggestion.
"However, the final name was a decision based on who would be the best candidate to represent BA in Lunas," said Syed Husin, declining to elaborate on the matter.
BA will be officially announcing the name of the candidate tomorrow morning.
Barisan Nasional is said to be placing S Anthonysamy, a lawyer from Sungai Petani and a former MIC Kedah secretary, as its candidate, though it has yet to announce this officially.
MIC Kedah state chief V Saravanan, however, said that Anthonysamy would definitely be the candidate based on his background and involvement in the estates.
The Lunas state seat fell vacant after the state assemblyman Dr Joe Fernandez was shot dead on Nov 4.
Nomination day has been fixed on Nov 21 and polling day will be on Nov 29.