GE-13: Najib’s New Faces, Not Many Pretty Faces

April 18, 2013

GE-13: Najib’s New Faces, Not Many Pretty Faces

dato-a-kadir-jasinby Pak Kadiaq Jasin

Upon closer scrutiny, I find that women are not significantly represented in the Barisan Nasional’s (BN) list of candidates despite their growing prominence in the party and despite the BN’s leadership promising to have more women contesting the election.

Based on the list published by Utusan Malaysia today (April 17), there are just over 70 female candidates among BN’s 727 parliamentary and state nominees or less than 10 per cent.

As for the so-called new faces, I found out after scrutinising media reports that some are not new at all, but have been erroneously represented as one. For instance, Bernama identified the proposed Kuala Terengganu parliamentary candidate, Mohd Zubir Embong, as a new face when in fact he had been an MP before. He won the same seat in 1986 but lost it to Semangat 46 in 1990.

The presence of recycled candidates is pretty prominent in Najib Razak’szul nordin “transformation team”. Whether they are winnable and transformational is for the voters to decide comes May 5.

In the April 8 post entitled “BN lwn Pembangkang: Jarak Makin Dekat” I wrote, among other things, that “BN tidak ada pilihan melainkan bertindak tegas dan pantas meletakkan lebih banyak calon muda, wanita dan teknokrat yang berwibawa, bersih, telus dan berwawasan.”

In my Other Thots column in the April 16-30 issue of the Malaysian Business magazine, I said the BN could not consider itself regenerating if it fails to nominate at least 40 per cent new faces comprising young people, women and professionals.

The Star online reported that the BN is fielding new faces for a third of the 222 parliamentary seats and almost half the 505 state constituencies in the general election.

BN Manifesto 2013

Although the Pakatan Rakyat parties had stolen the thunder from the BN by putting up young candidates as early as the 2004 GE, the catching-up game by the BN is applauded. Whether in BN or PR, the process of leadership regeneration is welcomed.

Dubbing his younger team “Barisan Nasional’s Transformation Team”, BN Chairman Najib said the line-up could meet the rakyat’s expectations and (if elected) could deliver the coalition’s manifesto pledges.

Although these new faces are young and untested, Najib said 91 per cent of them have at least diploma-level qualification and among them are lawyers, medical doctors, ulama, university professors and administrative and diplomatic officers.

Some old faces are back

However, while dropping a handful of senior MPs and state assemblymen, including ministers, former ministers and mentris besar — a few at their own requests — he also brought back or promoted several older members, notably Felda chairman and former Negri Sembilan Menteri Besar Mohd Isa Samad.

The move to allow former Prime Minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Nor Mohamed Yackop to retire is perhaps one of Najib’s bravest. But it is clear that Najib has also become the victim of the wily moves and internal bickering in the BN component parties. The exclusion by the MCA of its hugely popular ex-president and Pandan MP Ong Tee Keat is a case in point.

Najib also appears to have some problems with naming UMNO candidates, especially for the state seats, in the states where the Rulers are particular about the choice of candidates and want a say in the choice of mentris besar.

While the fresh faces are welcomed, there is the downside to naming too many highly qualified and, conversely, highly paid, candidates from the private and quasi-government sectors.

Unless these candidates, upon being elected, are willing to live modestly on a government salary and perks, there is a danger that, instead of serving the rakyat, they would be serving themselves to government projects and appointments to the boards of government companies and agencies. This won’t do!

Najib in doaIf Najib gets the big victory he is wishing for — which many observers, including the pro-BN ones say is not very likely — he has to act decisively against corruption and abuse of power, and keep his wakil rakyat on a short leash.

Najib has also fallen victim to the prolonged talk about the GE. It alerted the opposition and kept them on their toes.

Although the mainstream media has for months been dishing out stories of quarrels and disagreements among the PR component parties, the reality is they have checkmated the BN in the choice and positioning of candidates.

Many key BN candidates are facing strong and determined opponents. Also the BN parties are more prone to rebellion over the choice of candidates than their PR rivals — a point that has not missed Najib’s attention when he called for total acceptance, sacrifice and unity.

Whatever the case may be, the rule of the thumb is, the party-biased electors have already made up their minds. For good or evil, come rain or shine, they will vote their parties. The linchpins are the fence sitters and the first-time electors, the majority of who are young and urban-based. Their votes can go either way. —

11 thoughts on “GE-13: Najib’s New Faces, Not Many Pretty Faces

  1. Najib needs God’s Help. He should not rely of Rosmah’s swamiji from KuttyLand. Failure to deliver 2/3rd majority in Parliament could mean the end of his UMNO Presidency and Premiership. Good news is that without him as PM, Rosmah will lose power. Right now this pigmy size FLOM is the “unseen” force behind Najib.

  2. Hahaha…. two things happened today that is “helping” Pakatan inch nearer to Putrajaya:

    i ) RoS issued letters to DAP two days before nomination day informing the party it does not recognize the DAP leadership elected in Dec 2012. The question is why now? Why not within 30 days after the report was submitted in January? And why did they take this unilateral action without giving DAP a hearing? And why suspend their bank accounts?

    ii) HINDRAF just inked a MOU with PM where PM agreed to recognize the HINDRAF Blueprint for Marginalized Indians. It is obvious on everyone’s mind: why demand 10 seats from Pakatan when you negotiate with Pakatan but there is no seat given by BN in this agreement? What is being used in place of those 10 seats, Waythamoorthy? Looks like the losers here are the millions of marginalized Indians – in the long term. They have been sold out by HINDRAF for sure…..

  3. Najib choosing Zulkifli Nordin to stand in Shah Alam is really a joke. Now, even all the UMNO people in Shah Alam have boycotted him. He was even locked out from all BN’s and UMNO’s operations offices in Shah Alam. His selection also shows the lack of confidence Najib has in taking back Shah Alam and for that matter, the state of Selangor.

  4. Disgrace to MCPs who helm the political scenario. Your actions speak as though the women, your contemporaries ,are incapable to help run the country. How is this correct when the Malay women are better qualified and also more in numbers than their male brothers. This anti feminist attitude is unjustified and not democratic.

  5. I have this deep feeling that all hell will break loose when GE13 voting starts,wvwn b4 that every frauster’s trick in the book and then some new ones are being introduce, it makes Al Capone seems like a kindergarden kid, the list presented are actually a slap onto mahathir’s face,his warlords (dead wood ) Mahyudeen’s face, coz what Najib’s is interested really is the Umno election where,his people are in place,aas far as the GE13 is concerned, it’s already in his bag,lock, stock and barrel, don’t believe me,just wait after the GE13 vote counting finished….Oouch!!!

  6. It does not matter really. Najib HAS DESTROYED UMNO/BN single-handedly by signing his deal with Waytha from HindrafI(section A). There is NO WAY he can allocate TENS OF BILLIONS to Hindraf Blueprint AND KEEP his crony economics demanded by Perkasa and his so-called ‘new faces’ (e.g. BN Selangor looks like a long line of Toyo wanabe).

    All it will take is one year into a new UMNO/BN administration and IT WILL BE CHAOS between the demands of the Hindraf-inspired groups and Perkasa on the other side. ITS NOT GOVERNABLE.. An UMNO/BN administraton is at least 4 YEARS OF CHAOS…

  7. This government has been in power for fer too long, and it is almost impossible to make any change within the party. Probably earthquake and tsunami may be able to bring some changes to a party. Given the manifesto from both side of the divide, more could possibly be fulfilled from the rising parties.

  8. Betul lah Pak Kadiak, old wine in new bottles , and he brags about the few new faces to beguile the public, who think he’s being cranky….he simply let go and he thinks he is gaining popularity, you re right bigjoe99, its going to be messy to handle messy people who indulged in falsehood earlier by blaring to the world about ethnic cleansing by Malaysia on the marginalised Indian community.
    And hak55, its real silly to put a joker like pseudo-religious bigot in the style of Zulkifly Nordin in Shah Alam to try unseat the current towering incumbent, Khalid Samad ! Khalid and his elder brother Shahril Samad are impeccable politicians , and PM Najib is burning his fingers there.
    Again, Najib brings back that I.S.A flur to Jempol, in order to revive his chances and ambition to make him DPM, forgetting what Tun Mahathir has all along been strategizing for his son Mukhriz for that coveted DPM position – he is on a collision course !

    No wonder Pak Kadiak says they are not pretty faces, these old mugs, might as well he brings back faces like Toyol, or Tanjong Rambutan mentris-besar kepala who have been rejected before…..

  9. As the UMNO President and BN Chief, Najib has been telling everyone that they will wrest back Selangor from the opposition at the coming GE 13 but how can he when he doesn’t even have the confidence to win Shah Alam? Nominating a sure loser in Zulkifli Nordin as the candidate for the Shah Alam Parliamentary seat is definitely a wrong move. He could have at least nominated one of the many hopefuls from Shah Alam who have been working very hard since last year as the candidate but he didn’t and this has caused most, if not all, UMNO and BN people here to feel extremely disappointed with Najib and resulting in low morale. The message is clear that BN will not be able to win back Selangor!

  10. PEOPLE POWER! Divine intervention is showing. The time has come. PEOPLE POWER! Now taking back the government from the corrupt, criminals & murderers after 55 long years. Spread this slogan everywhere, this will quicken the demise of rotten BN & UMNO : “ PEOPLE POWER! Now people taking back the government that became completely lawless.” Alan Newman, from neutral, democratic, uncorrupt New Zealand.

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