PUTRAJAYA: Barisan Nasional is going a step further in vetting candidates for the 13th general election.
The party informed leaders in charge of election machinery in parliamentary and state constituencies to ensure that the proposers and seconders for candidates on nomination day did not have problems that could cost it its seats.
BN information and publicity chief Datuk Ahmad Maslan said he had also informed state leaders to screen candidates with the help of the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission, police and Insolvency Department.This was to prevent those who were not cleared by these agencies from standing in the election, he said. He confirmed that BN would, as in the past, check candidates with the authorities. BN lawyers would also conduct background checks on candidates, he added."It is equally important that proposers and seconders are screened."We do not want a last-minute disqualification, which would see rival parties winning uncontested. "Proposers and seconders should check whether they were red-flagged for offences that may not be of their own doing," he told the New Straits Times yesterday. He said it would help BN if those identified as proposers and seconders owned up to their problems.He was commenting on the NST front-page report yesterday that potential candidates for the election were expected to come under the microscope of enforcement agencies.The report said those investigated by MACC, or who could be subjects of investigations, would be classified under a list that would be sent to party leaders. It would be up to the leaders to decide whether to field these candidates, the report said. Ahmad said bankruptcy had, in the past, been a bane of political parties when it turned out that people blacklisted by the Insolvency Department had stood as guarantors for unpaid loans. Apart from checking its own candidates, proposers and seconders, BN also conducted background checks on opposition candidates to raise objections on nomination day, he said."We vet the backgrounds of their proposers and seconders to ensure that these people are registered voters."This is done to raise objections and prevent walkovers, like the one that benefited BN in 2008 when it won the Pengerang (Johor) seat uncontested. Insolvency Department director-general Datuk Abdul Karim Abdul Jalil said those wanting to check their status with the department could do so via its website or counter service."They can even write in to us, although there's a fee involved. We will process it quickly, as long as the requirements are met."