KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 24 — Barisan Nasional (BN) will not contest in the Port Dickson by-election and will be boycotting it as the coalition feels that it is a waste of money, said party president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
"We acknowledge that the present ruling government is facing financial constraints.
“The Election Commission (EC) had stated that RM3.6 million is allocated for the by-election. I hope to see the allocation be used for a good cause for the people rather than being spent on a by-election,” said the Umno president at a press conference at the party headquarters today.
Zahid said the decision was made after BN met and found that the amount allocated by the EC to be a waste.
Zahid said following the discussion with its BN partners MCA and MIC, the vacancy of the Port Dickson seat, which he said was previously contested by MIC, had gone against the coalition’s principles.
“We find that if a seat was vacated due to death, then a consideration has to be made, especially by Umno.
“We find it illogical that a seat was vacated only to fulfill the ambitions of an individual,” he said.
“Therefore, the decision made by the Umno political bureau and the consensus within the coalition is final.”
Zahid said this was not the first time the former ruling coalition had boycotted a by-election, citing the June 2009 Penanti by-election as an example.
At that time, former prime minister Datuk Seri Najib Abdul Razak had said the BN supreme council had unanimously decided against contesting in the Penanti by-election as former assemblyman Mohammad Fairus Khairuddin had forced it to be held by resigning.
When asked whether Umno will endorse other candidates from PAS or other parties, Zahid said the pact had not discussed it.
PAS president Datuk Seri Abdul Hadi Awang has repeatedly said that his party must contest in the Port Dickson by-election if the Malay nationalist party refused.
Earlier, Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan had opposed fielding a candidate in the Port Dickson by-election, stating that the act of vacating a seat for the purpose of another’s political ambition goes against the party’s principles.
In a statement today, Mohamad said Umno should be committed in pursuing a healthy and ethical democratic process.
“The intention to vacate the seat solely for the pursuit of another’s political ambition is totally eroding the principles and moral objectives of an election.
“Umno is totally against this self-centric act as shown in the Port Dickson by-election,” he said.
The Port Dickson by-election on October 13 was called after Datuk Danyal Balagopal Abdullah resigned as assemblyman on September 12, to give way to Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to contest the seat and return to Parliament.
The by-election will be the fourth held since the 14th general election, after Sungai Kandis and the recently concluded Balakong and Seri Setia polls on September 8.
J For Janice
boycot?We all know you all are licking anwar balls,just trying to pleased the next pm anwar.