SUNGAI PETANI, 29 March 2009: Three independent candidates who confirmed their candidacy for the Bukit Selambau state by-election on 7 April have indicated their willingness to withdraw for personal reasons.
Major (Rtd) Anuar Abd Hamid said he was ready to withdraw if former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad rejoined Umno.
The former Merbok Umno division committee member said he opted to contest as an independent as Dr Mahathir left Umno and had not rejoined although he said he would after the Umno general assembly ended yesterday.
“I followed Dr Mahathir in leaving the party last year and if Dr Mahathir rejoins I am willing to consider withdrawing,” said Anuar who has been in politics for 20 years.
Another independent candidate, entrepreneur Khamis Awang, said he was ready to withdraw to pave the way for another Malay Malaysian candidate to win with the condition that the winner would not join any political party.
Khamis said he was willing to discuss with another Malay Malaysian candidate in the interest of unity on the condition that the candidate remained an independent.
Yet another independent candidate, Abdul Rahim Abu, said he was seriously considering withdrawing as there were other Malay Malaysian candidates standing as independents.
The former Bukit Gelugor Umno division committee member did not want Malay Malaysian votes to be split to ensure the state constituency was represented by a Malay Malaysian.
“For the Malay [Malaysians], I am ready to do anything. I am ready to contest and struggle for the Malay [Malaysian] and I am also ready to give way to another Malay [Malaysian]. I have no other interests,” he said.
The other independent candidates are Husaini Yaakob, Radzi Md Lazim, Mohd Fadzil Wahab, S Moganakumar, Venason Michael, L Sarala, T Chandrarajan, R Loganathan, Tan Hock Huat and A Jayagopal.
The seat sees a contest among the 13 independent candidates, Barisan Nasional’s Datuk S Ganesan and Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s S Manikumar. — Bernama