KUALA LUMPUR – Spirited cheerings and clappings accompanied the announcements of Barisan Nasional candidates for the 14th General Election (GE14) in five states – Johor, Kelantan, Selangor, Melaka and Negeri Sembilan, which among others saw two state leaders Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin and Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed contesting in Parliamentary and state seats.
Johor BN chairman Mohamed Khaled, 59, would defend the Permas state seat and contest in the Pasir Gudang parliamentary seat which he had won in GE11 and GE12. It saw incumbent Datuk Normala Abd Samad, who won with a majority of 935 votes over Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate Ahmad Faidhi Saidi, being dropped.
Mustapa, 67, who is Kelantan BN chairman and International Trade and Industry Minister, would be defending the Jeli parliamentary seat for the fourth term and Ayer Lanas state seat for the third term.
The announcement of candidates also saw six women nominated in parliamentary seats and 24 in state seats involving Johor (four parliamentary, seven state seats); Selangor (one parliamentary, seven state seats); Melaka (one Parliamentary, two state seats); Kelantan (five state seats) and Negeri Sembilan (three state seats).
Meanwhile, the ‘old man’ Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah, who had just celebrated his 81st birthday on April 13, would continue to defend the Gua Musang parliamentary seat for the eighth term, besides Selangor BN chairman Tan Sri Noh Omar, 60, and Felda chairman Tan Sri Shahrir Abdul Samad, 68, who would be defending the Tanjong Karang parliamentary seat for the sixth term and Johor Bahru parliamentary seats for the seventh term, respectively.
In JOHOR BAHRU, the candidates’ announcement at the Johor UMNO Liaison Office’s Headquarters, saw 37 new faces contesting in 26 parliamentary seats and 56 state seats in Johor.
Mohamed Khaled said UMNO would contest in 16 parliamentary and 35 state seats; MCA (eight parliament, 15 state seats), MIC (one parliament, four state seats) while Gerakan (one parliament, two state seats).
Among the key leaders who remained to defend their respective constituencies were UMNO vice-president Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein (Sembrong); Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said (Pengerang); Health Minister Datuk Seri Dr S.Subramaniam (Segamat) and MCA deputy president Datuk Seri Wee Ka Siong (Ayer Hitam).
In MELAKA, state BN chairman Datuk Seri Idris Haron said 34 candidates selected by BN’s top leadership to compete in 28 state seats and six parliamentary seats had good records of serving the people.
At the announcement at Seri Bendahara, Ayer Keroh, former Malacca Chief Minister Tan Sri Mohd Ali Rustam was re-nominated for the Hang Tuah Jaya parliamentary seat (formerly known as Bukit Katil Parliament) despite losing a majority of 5,447 votes in GE13.
Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Dr Abu Bakar Mohamad Diah switched seats from Tangga Batu Parliamentary seat to the Paya Rumput state seat, while Idris remained at the Sungai Udang state seat and Puteri Umno chief Datuk Mas Emieyati Samsuddin would defend the Masjid Tanah parliamentary seat.
In SHAH ALAM, Selangor BN was gambling on 57 new candidates from a total 78 candidates for 22 parliamentary and 56 state seats in the mission to recapture the state from the opposition.
Noh, after the announcement of the BN candidate at the Selangor UMNO Building said, overall, UMNO would be contesting in nine parliamentary seats and 35 state seats; MCA (eight parliamentary seats and 14 state seats, MIC (four parliamentary seats and three state seats) while Gerakan (one parliamentary seat and four state seats).
In KOTA BHARU, Kelantan BN would be banking on 30 new faces and veteran leaders in the attempt to reclaim the state from PAS rule over the past 28 years.
Mustapa, at the announcement of the candidate at the Kelantan UMNO Building said, Kelantan BN was aiming to win 32 state seats and nine parliamentary seats out of 14 parliamentary and 45 state seats to be contested.
In SEREMBAN, Negeri Sembilan BN chairman Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan would defend the Rantau state seat which he had held for the past three terms while BN Youth chairman Khairy Jamaluddin would defend the Rembau parliamentary seat.
BN also nominated motivational and religious programme personality, Syamsul Amri Ismail, 41, or more popularly known as Syamsul Debat to contest in the Sikamat State seat.
With today’s announcement, seven out of 14 states had announced their respective candidates while the Federal Territories and Terengganu BN did so yesterday.
The Election Commission sets the polling day of GE14 on May 9 and the date for nomination of candidates on April 28, while the date for early voting is May 5. – BERNAMA