LDP eyes 10 seats in GE
March 17, 2012, Saturday
KEPAYAN: Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) is gearing up for the coming 13th general election and has submitted its list of candidates to Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
LDP president Datuk VK Liew said the list of about 20 names was submitted to the Prime Minister late last year.
Speaking to reporters after officiating at LDP’s central election operations room in Kepayan Perdana here yesterday, Liew said, “We have submitted our list of candidates to the Prime Minister who is the Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman late last year and there are no changes so far.
The Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department said that LDP not only has many winnable but also ‘want to be’ candidates so the party’s leaders really have to assess to identify who are the willing and able candidates.
“This is very important to me because the next phase of political challenge for LDP will be different… the political landscape of the party will be bigger and we will be more significant in the administration of the government,” he said.
According to Liew, taking into consideration the six seats available after SAPP left BN and the current four held by LDP, the party’s leadership has submitted at least two names for each constituency.
The candidates include professionals and many qualified people who are fresh, young and eager to serve the state and country, he stressed.
Asked whether he would be defending the Sandakan parliamentary seat, Liew said, “I am the MP for Sandakan… Sandakan has been identified with me and vice versa, so when the time comes I will let you all know what will happen.
On the party’s relationship with Umno now, Liew said that what happened is now history.
“Now we are looking forward to ensure BN wins the 13th general election and we are working closely as a team to ensure BN wins,” he said.
Asked if LDP had also submitted the names of candidates for the Karamunting state constituency which is currently held by former party vice president Datuk Peter Pang, he said the seat belonged to LDP.
“He (Pang) was our candidate in 2008 and he left us in 2010. Can he take the seat away? That will be against the principle of BN,” Liew said, adding that by doing so Pang is paving the way for other BN component parties’ candidates to do the same in the future.
“This is not right as it would create chaos. I don’t think that is the agreed principle by the BN supreme council as we have the convention whereby if a person leaves the party, that individual should not have the right to take away that constituency.
“I would also like to suggest to the BN supreme council that if the person is a minister, he or she should also resign as a cabinet minister and leave it to the Chief Minister of the day to decide who is the appropriate person to fill in the vacancy.
“But the individual cannot take the seat and cabinet post together.
When it was pointed out to him that both Datuk Raymond Tan and Datuk Peter Pang had offered to resign from the state cabinet, Liew said that in Raymond’s case the scenario was different because he did not follow SAPP and instead remains with BN.
“In our case we did not leave BN, it was his (Pang) differences with the party leadership that resulted in him making such a decision,” Liew said.
When reminded that Pang remained in the state cabinet because Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman did not accept his resignation, said, “The Chief Minister has prerogative in this matter but it must be exercised in the interest of all the BN component parties…that is very important.?