KUALA LUMPUR, April 27 (Bernama) -- Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak said today the BN candidates for the 14th general election were assessed over the past five years and not over the past month or so.
The Prime Minister said the BN had taken into account the performance of the candidates in terms of their relationship with the local community and the support they had among the people.
"The diversity of the BN candidates is not just to win minor battles, but more than that, that is to win big. It is pointless to win minor battles but lose the war."
"Most importantly, we want to offer to the voters candidates who are able to provide the best service for nation-building," he said at a special press conference on the eve of Nomination Day for the general election. Polling is on May 9.
Najib said the objective for the selection of the candidates was to ensure a BN victory in GE14 and maintain the momentum of the political parties in the coalition for the long term in the interests of the people and country.
"We gave priority to local candidates though there may be one or two exceptions but, on the whole, the candidates were from among the local leaders.
"We also considered the representation according to communities because we have various communities in our country.
"It is also to ensure the diversity of communities that can be seen under the BN which is a party that represents a diversity of people. At the end of the day, political consideration precedes everything else in the selection of candidates, " said Najib who was attired in a blue BN shirt.
He also said that the selection of BN candidates also took into account other needs, such as new faces and young people, in the effort to rejuvenate the party.
The selection also reflected the participation of women which, he said, was an ongoing commitment of the BN during a general election.
On those who have not been selected as candidates for GE14, Najib said he hoped that they would accept the party decision with an open heart and support whoever was chosen as the candidates.
"I understand that there will be BN members who will be dissatisfied with not having been selected. Accept the decision with an open heart, support the chosen candidates, place BN above all else, " said Najib who will defend the Pekan parliamentary seat.
He reminded voters that BN candidates were unlike the opposition which had no intention of serving the local people, so much so that they were willing to contest in other constituencies after one term.
Najib also called on voters to close ranks and unite to ensure a huge victory for the BN.
"I would like to remind voters that GE14 is a process of choosing a government that will manage our lives in the next five years."
"Make a wise choice. Do not fall for the lies and seditious or slanderous remarks of the opposition which has strayed far from the basis of their struggles, " he said.