Galas: BN will contest, Najib reiterates
PUTRAJAYA: Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said Friday that Barisan Nasional will definitely field a candidate in the upcoming Galas state by-election in Kelantan.
The Prime Minister said the coalition would put up the best candidate possible.
"It is difficult for us not to contest the seat. Democratic practice provides for a by-election in the event an electoral seat falls vacant due to death (of the incumbent elected representative)," he told reporters after visiting a government hospital design competition exhibition at the Finance Ministry, here.
"Only once did we not contest a seat, when it was vacated on purpose, because we felt that it would be a waste of money," he said in reference to the by-election in the Permatang Pauh parliamentary constituency in August 2008.
Najib said that in Galas, there was a need to fill the vacancy for an elected representative.
"If we do not contest, then the Galas constituents will have no choice. If we contest, they will have the option of picking Barisan or PAS. That's the healthy democratic practice we have in our country," he said.
PAS had suggested that Barisan Nasional not contest the seat, saying it would help prevent wastage of money.
Asked about the appointment of Gua Musang MP Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah as the Barisan election director for the by-election, Najib said: "I am delighted that he is willing, and he is committed to work hard to ensure Barisan wins."
"We are not going to talk about the candidate at this stage. I am still waiting for the list of possible candidates. I don't want to pre-empt who the candidate will be but we want to put up the best possible candidate," he said.
The Galas seat, which is in the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency, fell vacant following the death of its incumbent Che Hashim Sulaima, 46, on Monday from cancer. In the general election in 2008, Che Hashim won the seat with a majority of 646 votes.
Besides Galas, the Nenggiri and Paloh state seats are also in the Gua Musang parliamentary constituency.