Thu, Feb 21, 2008
The Star
'Close one eye' MP out

MALACCA, MALAYSIA - Controversial "close one eye" Jasin MP Datuk Md Said Yusop was among the 13 incumbents dropped for contest in the polls. He was replaced by Datuk Ahmad Hamzah, the incumbent for the Serkam state seat.

Md Said is known for his remark to Customs officials to overlook a consignment belonging to his company's client that was seized for exceeding the size limit.

He also accused Customs officials of selling confiscated luxury cars cheaply to their friends in the palace, but could not produce any evidence to back his allegation.

Making the election list were incumbents Malacca Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Ali Rustam (Bukit Baru state seat), Malacca MCA liaison committee chairman Datuk Seri Dr Fong Chan Onn (Alor Gajah parliamentary seat) and Wong Nai Chee (Kota Melaka parliamentary seat).

One of the biggest surprises in the line-up was the increase in the number of women candidates from one in previous polls to four.

They are MCA's Chiew Hong Lan (Ayer Keroh state seat), Gerakan's Wendy Ngo Kim Hwa (Bachap state seat), and Umno's Latipah Omar (Taboh Naning state seat) and Norpipah Abdul (Rembia state seat).

In his announcement, Mohd Ali revealed a total of 13 new faces out of 28 candidates to contest the state seats, and two newcomers from six standing for parliament.

Twelve incumbents for the state seats were not selected to contest.

Among them were Malacca MIC state chief Datuk R. Raghavan, Umno Wanita chief Datuk Ramlah Abas and Malacca MCA secretary Datuk Seah Kwi Tong.

Speaking to reporters later, Mohd Ali said the increase in women candidates was due to their growing influence and role.

"It is also a coincidence that polling day on March 8 is Women's Day," he said.

Dr Fong expressed confidence at MCA's choice of candidates, adding that they would make every effort to defend Kota Melaka and capture the last two remaining DAP state seats of Bandar Hilir and Kota Laksamana.

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