Barisan gains as independents withdraw from Malaysian polls

February 27th, 2008 - 1:21 pm ICT by admin  

Kuala Lumpur, Feb 27 (IANS) Three independent candidates have withdrawn their candidacy for the March 8 polls, resulting in the ruling coalition Barisan Nasional picking up an eighth parliamentary seat. The Barisan Nasional won seven parliamentary and two state seats uncontested last Sunday when nominations closed.

One of the independent candidates, Shahul Hameed M.K. Mohamad Ishack, opted out from parliamentary contest in Jelutong, after his wife and in-laws withdrew their support for him as proposers and seconders.

Ishack said: “I am pulling out for the sake of my family and out of respect for our beloved Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi.”

Ishack’s withdrawal paved the way for a straight fight between Barisan Nasional’s incumbent Ng Fook On and ethnic Indian Jagdeep Singh Deo, the son of Democratic Action party (DAP) chairman Karpal Singh.

Deo said Ishaq posed no threat to him, The Sun newspaper reported Wednesday.

Father Karpal Singh, a lawyer-lawmaker, is defending his seat in parliament, despite being confined to a wheelchair.

Junak Jawi, another independent who withdrew in Barisan Nasional’s favour, said he had not been pressurized by anybody.

Malaysia is in the middle of a campaign for the 12th general election to parliament and to state legislatures after Badawi opted for early polls last month, cutting short his tenure by a year.

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