KUALA LUMPUR: Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak is expected to announce Barisan Nasional’s full list of 14th General Election (GE14) candidates on April 2, five days before he launches BN’s election manifesto.
Sources said the announcement would be made at the Putra World Trade Centre (PWTC) and was expected to be attended by leaders of all 13 component parties.
Najib, as BN chairman, would present letters of appointment to candidates contesting the 222 parliamentary seats, marking the first time such a ceremony would be held.
Umno information chief Tan Sri Annuar Musa declined to confirm the date, but said the candidate announcement ceremony would be held before BN’s manifesto was launched.
The launch of the manifesto would reportedly be held at Stadium Putra in Bukit Jalil on April 7.
“There is a possibility that it (announcement of candidates) will be made earlier as BN is ready (for the election) and has met the chairman of the state liaison office.
“The names (of the candidates) are with the prime minister. He has fine-tuned it, and it is up to him (when to make the announcement).
“There is speculation that it will be made on April 7. But, it is not impossible that (Najib) will announce it sooner as he is ready.”
Annuar was speaking to reporters after moderating a discussion titled, “Why has the opposition’s manifesto met an early death?”, organised by Umno Online.
The discussion included Rom-pin member of parliament Datuk Seri Hasan Ariffin, who is Public Accounts Committee chairman; Jerantut MP Datuk Ahmad Nazlan Idris; and Felda Malaysia Youth Council president Muhammad Fadzli Hassan.
The New Straits Times Press had previously reported that Najib was expected to make an early announcement of BN’s GE14 candidates, but the date remained unknown.
While a ceremony to present letters of appointment to candidates has never been done before, it is understood that it will be held to boost the spirit of all candidates ahead of GE14, dubbed the “mother of all elections”.
During GE13, Najib had presented BN candidate appointment letters to respective component party leaders at a ceremony on April 15, 2013, five days before nomination day.
Annuar likened Pakatan Harapan’s manifesto to “empty talk”, which was meant to gain more voters, especially among the younger generation.
“One lecturer had converted Pakatan’s manifesto to cash value; the pledges amounted to RM400 billion. (If) this manifesto is what the opposition has to offer, the country will go bankrupt due to this populist promise.
“In Kelantan, before it fell under the opposition’s influence, they (the opposition) had promised to provide an allowance for senior citizens. But, to this day, 28 years later, the opposition there has yet to keep its side of the bargain.
“This differs from BN’s manifesto. We know youth want to see a package that promises a brighter future for them. BN’S manifesto is the best gift for all Malaysians.”