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BN foresees potential sabotage at 60 ‘problem’ seats

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KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional has identified 60 “problem seats” nationwide where it foresees potential sabotage, based on the party’s experiences in the last general election.

Umno Disciplinary Committee member Tan Sri Megat Najmuddin Megat Khas (below) said, BN had in 2008 won or lost these seats with a very slim margin, using the Kelantanese-term “cah keting” (sabotage) to describe what happened on the ground.

Following that, he said BN, led by Umno, had conducted a survey at the constituencies and found that the outcome of the election was due to internal dissension and problems.

“One member was not happy at not being chosen as a candidate so he sabotages his own party’s campaign. Or, rumours of power struggles or arguments between factions in BN sometimes leak out to the public,” said Megat Najmuddin at a Press conference after the 2nd Annual Personal Data Protection Summit launch here yesterday.

He said these acts of sabotage include orders given to BN operation centres to halt its campaign activities for the chosen candidate, like for instance distribution of posters around the constituency.

“So yes, it is very important that this be dealt with because the implications are severe. We are taking immediate action by placing people on the ground to monitor this problem,” he said.

The Umno Disciplinary Board had last month also announced the sacking of two members, as well as a three-year suspension of four others, for acts of sabotage against the party.

Megat Najmuddin, however, declined to reveal any of the identified seats, merely saying that it is a problem in almost every state.

Megat_Najmuddin“Not all division chiefs can be nominated to contest in the (upcoming 13th) general election. Our emphasis now is on winnable candidates,” he said.

He also declined to comment on claims that BN-friendly Independent MPs will be allowed to re-contest under the BN ticket, following their return to the fold.

“The ultimate decision will be made by the BN top leadership,” he stressed.

Bayan Baru MP Datuk Seri Zahrain Mohamed Hashim, a former Umno lawmaker, had contested under the PKR ticket in 2008 but left in 2010 before announcing his decision to rejoin Umno last week, as The Sun reported.

This had led to speculation that Zahrain is looking to re-contest his seat under the BN banner.

Prime Minister and BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had in his speech at the Umno 66th annual general assembly last month also stressed on the importance for all members to close ranks and put the party’s interest above individual agendas.

Najib said this includes respecting decisions made by top party leaders, particularly in the issue of candidacy, to ensure that Umno and BN will remain in power after what has been touted to be the “mother of all elections”.