Barisan Nasional will 'feel the people's pulse first' before picking its candidate for the upcoming Hulu Selangor parliamentary by-election.
Barisan chief Najib Abdul Razak said the coalition needs to study the situation before hand, adding that he cannot announce yet the name of prospective candidate.
"We have to scrutinise, feel the pulse of the people and so on," he told reporters at the Senate lobby, here Monday.
There had been proposals by both the MIC and Umno on their preferred candidates for the seat in Hulu Selangor, which fell vacant following the death of incumbent MP Dr Zainal Abdin Ahmad, 71, due to brain cancer on Thursday.
Najib will study options
The PKR representative had defeated the Barisan's G Palanivel, the MIC's deputy president, at the March 2008 general elections.
The MIC had proposed that the former Women, Family and Community Development deputy minister be fielded again. He had lost by a narrow 198 vote-margin to Zainal Abidin, a former Selangor deputy mentri besar who left Umno and joined the PKR in 2005.
Umno has proposed the name of Muhammad Muhammad Taib, a former mentri besar and former Rural and Regional Develoment Minister, nicknamed 'Mat Tyson' by his supporters.
Asked on these proposals Najib said: "I have to study all developments. What is important is victory for the Barisan and this is what I emphasise on."
Close ranks in MCA
Regarding the just completed MCA elections that saw former Health Minister Dr Chua Soi Lek being chosen president, Najib asked all party members to respect the results.
He said what was important was MCA's wish that the election would help resolve the leadership crisis in the party that had dragged on for far too long.
"As I see it, all candidates who contested especially those who stood for the presidency, had given their word that they would close ranks once the election is over to make MCA strong again.
"It is my wish as Barisan chairman, to have a united MCA to champion the interests of Malaysians, particularly the Chinese community.
"Don't look back, look ahead and carry out your duties responsibly. I wish to see confidence in MCA restored," he said.
Asked whether the new MCA president would be included in the Cabinet line-up, Najib said: "I have not made a decision, I have to first analyse what is the message of the MCA delegates. I have to meet the new MCA president to find out his views and suggestions on Cabinet positions. I will only decide after that."
Is the crisis over?
Asked if he really believed that the crisis in the party was over, Najib said: "We have to give them (party leaders) a little bit of time because they have to get over the factionalism that existed in the party."
Pressed further if the reshuffle would affect the positions of defeated president Ong Tee Keat (Transport) and losing deputy aspirant Kong Cho Ha (Housing and Local Government), the prime minister said: "That depends...that depends."
He also dismissed suggestions that moral issues would crop up because of Dr Chua's sex DVD scandal.
"Yes... there will be all kinds of views as usual, but over 900 delegates have given their trust and mandate to Soi Lek, so the strengths and advantages have been prioritised (in reaching their decision).
"Whether this reflects the sentiments of the Chinese community at large is something that has to be evaluated by us," he added.
Regarding reports that 36 committee members of the Bukit Bendera Umno division want to resign, Najib said he would have to ask the Umno management committee to study the latest developments.
"Whatever it is, the party constitution must be complied with. I want the Umno management Committee to study the latest developments," he said.
The division officials announced at a media conference Monday that they would submit their resignation letters to the Penang Umno liaison committee, which meets next month, to enable a special division delegates meeting to reappoint suspended division head Ahmad Ismail.
Ahmad's party membership was suspended for three years from September 2008 following a public outcry over alleged remarks made during the Permatang Pauh by-election that offended the non-Malays.
In December last year, the Umno supreme council withdrew the suspension order. - Malaysian Mirror