By LIM MUN FAH
Translated by SOONG PHUI JEE
Sin Chew Daily
The election guessing game continues, with one thing for sure, BN component parties have submitted the candidate lists to the Prime Minister and the Prime Minister has also met component parties' leaders to discuss on the matter.
It was rumoured earlier that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak had met component parties' leaders separately to discuss on the quality of the listed candidates. It seemed to have shown that personal quality and winnability have been greatly weighted and could be the Prime Minister's biggest consideration in finalising the candidate lists.
Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said that the BN's allocation of seats in the Federal Territories (FT) for the 13th general election would be based on the winnability of candidates and not on the party a candidate represents. Therefore, public opinion would be the most important consideration.
He also said bluntly that the BN will choose candidates based on their winnability and the existing method or formula for seat allocation will also be reviewed. Most importantly, the BN must win.
It seems like Muhyiddin is sharing the same view with Najib. It is also the most straightforward remarks on seat allocation formula made by a BN leader in recent years. And the most noteworthy point is, what problems would be derived under the standard of considering the candidates' winnability instead of the party he is representing.
The first problem is, have BN component parties' leaders achieved a consensus on the principle of considering the candidates' winnability instead of the party he represents?
Secondly, does it mean that a major reshuffle would be made for the seat distribution among component parties, since a candidate, regardless of the party he is representing, with the highest winnability in a certain constituency would be fielded?
Thirdly, would the candidates recommended by their respective parties be rejected for not meeting the standard of having the greatest winnability?
All the three questions are sensitive and if they are not handled properly, it might intensify the conflicts among component parties, or trigger a new factional fight within the BN coalition.
The MCA, the Gerakan and the MIC did not perform well in the 2008 general election and if the polls show that the support rates of the ruling and alternative parties remain unchanged, would it mean that Umno can take over the seats from their comrades based on the principle of the person with the greatest winnability should be fielded regardless of the party he represents?
If that is the case, Umno would then enjoy a greater status in the BN coalition while other component parties would be further marginalised and the situation could be much worsen.
If the situation is not as bad, and the candidates recommended by their parties are just required to recommend another candidate with a greater winnability if they themselves are found to have low winnability by BN leaders, it could then trigger an infighting.
The latter situation is likely to take place, particularly incumbent Members of Parliament and state assembly representatives who won with flying colours in the 2008 general election but are not included in the candidate lists prepared by their parties. Has the highest criterion of the winnability principle given them a chance to revive?
Let's wait and see what will happen next!