KUALA TERENGGANU, 16 Jan 2009: Datuk Seri Najib Razak today said the Barisan Nasional (BN) lauded the move by Kuala Terengganu mayor, Datuk Mat Razali Kassim, to quit as the returning officer for the Kuala Terengganu by-election.
He said the move was a good one to ensure that the by-election tomorrow proceeded smoothly with no misappropriation and that everything went according to rules.
“We do not want anybody to make accusations. We fear that if BN wins they will make this matter an issue. It is better that we resolve this earlier with Mat Razali withdrawing.
“We want to prove that this by-election is clean, according to regulations and with no wrong-doing,” Najib told reporters after attending a ‘Meeting the Fishermen’ gathering at the Chendering Malaysian Fisheries Development Board port here today.
Also present was Agriculture and Agro-based Industries Minister Datuk Mustapa Mohamed.
Najib was commenting on Mat Razali’s withdrawal as returning officer for the by-election yesterday as announced by the Election Commission (EC).
Mat Razali said his withdrawal was because he wanted the by-election to proceed smoothly and to uphold the authority and integrity of the EC.
According to him, he had heard allegations by some quarters that he had campaigned for a certain party in a meeting with Kuala Terengganu City Council staff.
The position was filled by the Kuala Terengganu City Council secretary, Wan Mustafa Wan Hassan, who was an assistant returning officer for the by-election.
Najib, who is also the BN by-election director, called on voters to vote early.
“There are two matters. Come out and vote in large numbers and as early as possible and, of course, vote for the BN,” he said.
The by-election follows the death of the former MP Datuk Razali Ismail on 28 Nov 2008.
It is a contest among BN’s Datuk Wan Ahmad Farid Wan Salleh, Mohd Abdul Wahid Endut of PAS and independent Azharudin Mamat @ Adam. — Bernama