KUCHING, Dec 17 — Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN) said today its potential electoral candidates will be carefully vetted to ensure that they have clean records before contesting in the 14th general election.
Sarawak BN chairman Datuk Patinggi Abang Johari Openg said that the list of names will be submitted to agencies like the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC), police, Insolvency Department, Inland Revenue Board and Immigration Department for screening.
“We cannot just take it for granted that our candidates are having clean record and that is why we have to screen them carefully,” he told reporters after opening the PBB Satok division annual general meeting here.
He said the names of potential candidates found to have a “bad record” will be deleted from the final list of candidates.
He said they are deemed to have a bad record when they fail to settle their taxes with the Inland Revenue Board, are involved in corrupt practices and abuses of power or have criminal records.
“We do not want to have by-elections to be called half-way after the general election by fielding candidates with bad record,” he said, stressing that such candidates will also tarnish the name of BN.
He said inviting the Immigration Department to come in will make sure that state BN’s candidates are Malaysian citizens.
“Pujut is a case in point. Whether it is correct or not, let the court decide,” he said, referring to DAP’s Dr Ting Tiong Choon who was disqualified by the state assembly representing Pujut after he was found to have acquired an Australian citizenship.
The High Court, however, restored his Pujut’s membership, saying that the state assembly was not a competent body to decide on the membership.
The appeal case is pending in the Court of Appeal.