Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Umno denies sponsoring any independent in Penanti

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has not sponsored any independent candidate in the Penanti by-election as alleged by certain quarters, said party information chief Ahmad Maslan.

Ahmad, who is also the Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said Barisan Nasional decided not to contest in the by-election in order to concentrate on reviving the country’s economy.

“We also do not want to fall into the trap set by the Opposition to force us into a by-election to improve our image.

“Why should Barisan waste energy and money to improve its image,” he told a press conference at Menara Dato’ Onn here yesterday.

Former Penang PKR Wanita head Aminah Abdullah, 56, had announced her intention to contest the state seat in Penang slated for May 31.

Two others who would also be contesting are Pakatan’s Dr Mansor Othman, 56, and independent Mohd Saberi Othman, 49 who is a used-car salesman.

Ahmad added that the Barisan would not contest in by-elections which it perceived as “unreasonable” or if it was forced upon due to resignations orchestrated by the Opposition.

Asked if the Barisan would stay out of by-elections in Perak where the coalition has a slim majority, Ahmad said the coalition would decide on this after the state’s leadership crisis was resolved.

Ahmad said Umno would activate its machinery at branch and divisional levels when there was a need for it to contest in an election.

Asked on the candidate for the Barisan information chief, Ahmad said the Umno information chief would automatically assume the post, adding that it was up to the the supreme council to decide.

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