Many ministers not to contest in upcoming election 

Sin Chew Daily learned that a number of BN senior ministers have been informed by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak that they would not be fielded to contest in the upcoming general election, including Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop, Information, Communications and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Dr Rais Yatim and Tourism Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ng Yen Yen.

In addition to ministers, some Umno senior leaders would also not to contest this time, including former Wanita Umno chief Tan Sri Rafidah Aziz and incumbent Wanita Umno chief Datuk Seri Shahrizat Abdul Jalil.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Dr Koh Tsu Koon has said earlier that he has no intention to contest and Minister of Energy, Green Technology and Water Datuk Seri Peter Chin Fah Kui is also firm about not contesting. As for Higher Education Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin, he is expected to give up contesting for a parliament seat and move to a state seat, paving way for him to take over as Mentri Besar of Johor.

If Khaled leaves the Pasir Gudang parliamentary constituency, he is expected to consider contesting for the Tiram state seat.

A source told Sin Chew Daily that many ministers have received calls from the Prime Minister, informing them of being replaced by fresh candidates or candidates with greater winning odds.

Nor Mohamed is the incumbent Tasek Gelugor MP. He was the prior Minister of Finance II and later became a Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, in charge of Economic Planning Unit.

He was intended to seek for re-election but due to the deterioration of local Umno infighting, there are voices opposing him. Former Tasek Gelugor MP Datuk Seri Mohd Shariff Omar hopes to return to Tasek Gelugor this time.

Shariff Omar is an experienced leader of Penang Umno. He served as the Tasek Gelugor MP for three terms and he had also been a state assembly member for three terms. Under the strong attack of Pakatan Rakyat in Penang, he is seen as the candidate with the highest winning odds.

In addition, Rais Yatim, who had taken the post of Negeri Sembilan Menteri Besar, would not be contesting, too. It might be the end of his political career.

Rais Yatim is a veteran leader in Umno. He had taken a few ministerial posts, including the Minister in the Prime Minister in charge of legal matters. He had experienced ups and downs, including a political downturn during the 1987 party crisis.

He defeated PAS’ candidate with 11,610 majority votes in the 2008 general election.

As for Ng Yen Yen, she might be forced to abdicate due to the Raub cyanide gold mining and ministry issues. Although she is the only woman vice president of the MCA, she is still unable to resist the opposition voices.

It is learned that Pandan MP Datuk Seri Ong Tee Keat has obtain the Prime Minister’s blessings to seek for reelection in the Pandan parliamentary constituency.