PM Najib, I believe is in a quandary as to who should be the best BN candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election scheduled October 11, 2009, and with the nomination date in just a week from today. PM Najib's predicament is made worse with the likes of Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh voicing their reservations on the choice of former Federal Territory Minister Isa Samad, who is said to be the only BN/UMNO Negeri Sembilan choice.
Tun Dr. Mahathir and Tengku Razaleigh obvious comment to Isa Samad's choice is because of the latter's involvement in money politics that led to his suspension from UMNO for three years in June 2005, and his subsequent resignation as the Federal Territory Minister. Tun Dr. Mahathir said that by nominating Isa Samad, the BN would be seen as not being serious in discarding insavoury characters, as a precondition to being an assemblyman. I think, Tun Dr. Mahathir was only commenting the obvious.
Isa Samad was reported to have said that in the case of the opposition, they had a former prisoner (I suppose referring to Anwar Ibrahim) who contested in a by-election and won, as a justification for his rightful nomination. I am surprise that Isa Samad have to come out with such a justification which smack of thoughtlessness and self interest. He had failed to realised that what Tun Dr. Mahathir was trying to suggest is to rid unsavoury characters from within BN/UMNO, and he was not making any reference to the opposition party. If this is the kind of mind set that Isa Samad inhibits, then I would say that he and his supporters are no better than 'Si Luncai' of the famous Malay annals.
Isa Samad must also have been emboldened by the outcome of a popularity poll conducted by PAS recently, which finds that it will be difficult for the opposition candidate to beat Isa Samad, if he is the candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election. I am not privy to the polling method adopted by PAS, but my basic training in military intelligence tells me that this is a ruse or a deception to convince the BN/UMNO that Isa Samad is indeed their best choice. If BN/UMNO takes the trap, it will be to the advantage of the opposition who will have a gala time during the campaign to demonised Isa Samad over his unsavoury past. Is this what the BN/UMNO wants to see?
And now Mr. Samy Vellu has also joined the fray. He had asked Tun Dr. Mahathir not to interfere in BN's affairs and to just leave it to Najib to make the decision. Mr. Samy does not seem to understand the difference between 'interference' and 'commenting' which have differing connotations. I think, Tun Dr. Mahathir was merely making a comment and there was no pressure what so ever applied to the BN leadership to accept the comment. It is only the BN that is feeling the pressure for undue reasons and Mr. Samy knows this.
Tun Dr. Mahathir has not come forward to comment on what Mr. Samy has said, and by the look of it, the spat between the two seasoned politician is unlikely to end that soon.
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