There will probably be some who will weep openly and later, put up a brave front to pressmen that they accept the leadership's decision in the name of party unity and the struggle.
According to insiders, Umno headquarters
has been bombarded with telegrams and appeal letters over the past month.
It's the same with the respective heads of Barisan's 14 component parties.
Many of these messages come with
impressive resumes, including the academic results of the intending candidates' college examinations.
If that is not enough, some candidates
openly admit they are prepared to use
their spouses to strengthen their
No one is sure whether such a ploy will
work but one Barisan component leader
has called it “kitchen politics'' and
he is not underestimating this
Besides their wives, many of these politicians are said to be prepared to send busloads of family members, friends and grassroots leaders to Kuala Lumpur to lobby their case.
At stake is 193 parliamentary seats and
the coalition wants to win over 128
seats to ensure a two-thirds
Up for grabs are also 365 state seats.
Everyone of the contenders, including
those from the Opposition Front, will claim they are doing it for the people.
That aside, the reality is that it's
also about power, positions, prestige
and business opportunities.
The talk is that several Barisan stalwarts will be dropped to make way for young blood, including a few top civil servants.
One possible casualty is former information minister Datuk Mohamed Rahmat while a popular name going
around as a potential new candidate is Chief
Secretary to the Government Tan
Sri Halim Ali.
Kedah Mentri Besar Datuk Sanusi Junid
has confirmed he is contesting in a
state seat but that has not stopped
speculation that he is going to be
Then, there are also suggestions of Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Tajol Rosli contesting for a Perak state seat
and taking up the Mentri Besar's
If the gravepine is be believed,
Consumer and Domestic Affairs
Minister Datuk Megat Junid Megat Ayob may go for a state seat. He is also said to be the other contender for the Perak MB's post.
There is also talk that the longest serving MB, Tan Sri Wan Mokhtar Ahmad, will be dropped.
Negri Sembilan MB Tan Sri Mohamed Isa
Abdul Samad may contest a parliamentary
Word has it that Isa, a four term MB, will be offered either the Tampin or Teluk Kemang parliamentary seat.
Immigration director-general Datuk Aseh
Che Mat, who is from Kuala Pilah, and
Cycle and Carriage managing director
Datuk Mohamed Hassan, who is the Rasah
Umno division chief, are among those
tipped to succeed Isa.
In Johor, speculation continues that MB
Datuk Ghani Othman is going for a
Umno Youth chief Datuk Hishammuddin Hussein and Defence Minister Datuk Syed
Hamid are said to be possible replacements for the MB's post.
But what is clear is that the Johor state constitution stipulates that only those born in Johor can be Mentri Besar.
It is a peculiar clause that rules out
talented people like Hishammuddin who was born in London and Syed Hamid, who was born in Penang.
On the MCA side, Deputy Finance Minister Datuk Wong See Wah and Deputy Culture and Tourism Minister Datuk Teng Gaik Kwan have been confirmed dropped.
Contrary to speculation, Local
Government and Housing Minister Datuk Dr Ting Chew Peh and Deputy Sports Minister Datuk Loke Yuen Yow will contest.
Dr Ting, the MP for Gopeng and Loke, the
MP for Tanjung Malim, have, in fact, hit
the campaign trail.
Beginning tomorrow, the Mentris Besar of all states, except Kelantan, who are also state Umno liaison chiefs, will wait outside Dr Mahathir's office.
The first on the appointment list is
Pahang Mentri Besar Datuk Adnan Yaakob, who will submit his list of potential
Tan Sri Khalil Yaakob, as the Pahang
Umno liaison chief, will have a strong
influence on the choice of
While Adnan is almost certainly to defend his Pelangai state seat, there is talk that some Mentris Besar
will be dropped.
Their fate will almost certainly be known when they face Dr Mahathir and other members of the powerful Umno political bureau.
The bureau, headed by Dr Mahathir, includes vice-presidents Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Khalil (who is also Umno secretary-general) and treasurer Tun Daim Zainuddin.
On Tuesday, the bureau will finalise the
lists of candidates. The day's work will
begin with the crucial line-up for
Kelantan with Tengku Razaleigh
Hamzah handling the task.
Dr Mahathir, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, will meet the heads of the component parties in the
afternoon beginning with MCA president
Datuk Seri Dr Ling Liong Sik.
On Wednesday, it will be the turn of
party leaders from Sabah and Sarawak,
who will each be given one hour to
present their case.
For Barisan, especially Umno, it is
imperative that fresh blood be
introduced to rejuvenate the
Many of the old timers have contributed
greatly to the party and nation but they
can also be an obstacle to further
New faces will attract new members,
especially young professionals and entrepreneurs to join the main Barisan parties.
By fielding more new faces, the Barisan
will also remove possible offensive strategy from the opposition.
It would also be a good strategy to field prominent civil servants, especially
those with sound track records, as they
will be able to get the support of the civil servants.