Mahathir should not interfere in selection of BN candidate: Samy

(Bernama) — MIC president Datuk Seri S. Samy Vellu has asked former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, to stop interfering in the selection of a Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate for the Bagan Pinang by-election, slatted for Oct 11.

"The MIC believes in the wisdom of Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak) and Deputy Prime Minister (Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also BN election director) in selecting the right candidate for the seat.

"The Prime Minister has the capability to appoint someone who can bring victory to BN. Only the Prime Minister has the final say on who should be the candidate," Samy Vellu told Bernama, when asked to comment on Mahathir's statement yesterday.

The former Prime Minister in an interview with Bernama had said that Tan Sri Mohd Isa Samad should not be nominated for the seat since he was suspended from UMNO for three years since June 2005, for his alleged involvement in money politics.

Mahathir had said UMNO's image would be effected and it would be regarded as not serious in fighting money politics if the party chose a candidate who had already been found guilty of such action.

Several UMNO branches and the Teluk Kemang UMNO division are said to have submitted Isa's name to the BN top leadership for consideration as a candidate for the by-election.

The Election Commission has set nominations for Bagan Pinang by-election on Oct 3 and polling was fixed for Oct 11.

The seat fell vacant following the death of BN's incumbent, Azman Mohammad Noor on Sept 4.

Samy Vellu also said Mahathir should not interfere in every by-election as his public views was causing "havoc" for the BN election machinery during the polls.

"The MIC will abide by anyone selected by the Prime Minister, who is also the BN head. Mahathir should not interfere in too many things which might put the BN in a difficult situation," he added.