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Don’t make campaign period a big issue: Syed Hamid

KUALA LUMPUR, 20 Oct 2008: Home Minister Datuk Seri Syed Hamid Albar has urged Umno members not to make a big issue out of the party’s campaign period.

Instead, he said, they should focus more on the party’s aspiration in serving the community.

Syed Hamid said Umno members must accept the fact that the campaign period was longer and the time frame, very strenuous.

“Generally, longer period of campaigning is not preferable because we are used to short-period campaigns. But due to special circumstances, the Umno election was postponed. So, we have to accept the fact and not take it too hard.

“Don’t make it a big issue where it creates misunderstanding among party members. Initially, unofficial campaigns by candidates had started a year ago, even before the new election date was announced,” he told reporters after the opening ceremony of a colloquium on Media Policy in Malaysia here today.

The two-day colloquium is organised by the Asian Institute for Communication Development (Aidcom) and the High Commission of Canada to discuss issues on media policy and freedom.

Last Friday, Umno deputy president hopeful Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin said he preferred a shorter campaign period for the party elections.

He said the current four-month campaign period would affect productivity of the candidates vying for posts in the party. Most of them hold high positions in the government.

Syed Hamid also said continuity in debating the campaign period and putting forward different views could pave the way for the opposition coalition to gain the people’s confidence.

The minister, who is making his bid for one of the vice-president posts, said he was confident of gaining enough nominations to enable him to contest.

“Until yesterday, I garnered 12 nominations…eight nominations more. I think it’s possible as the divisional meetings only conclude next month.

“Although mine (nominations) is less but it’s all in the game and you must be confident. I let the divisions decide,” he added.

In race for the three Umno veep slots, four candidates have already qualified for next March’s election, namely Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Hussein, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Datuk Seri Khalid Noordin. — Bernama


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