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‘No’ to politicians under ACA probe

KUALA LUMPUR: The Barisan Nasional will not field politicians who are being investigated by the Anti-Corruption Agency (ACA).

“If there is an issue in relation to the ACA, meaning there is an active file (on the politician) currently under investigation, then they will not be candidates,” said Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.

When asked if veteran politicians who had served five terms or more would be dropped, Najib said their candidacy did not depend on how long they have served.

“The matter in question is their leadership, and not how long they have been an MP or assemblyman. It depends whether they are still wanted by the party, based on their past performances and potential contribution for the next four to five years.

“And of course, it depends if they can win (in the election),” he told reporters after receiving a RM1mil cheque on behalf of the armed forces from Advanced Maintenance Precision Management Sdn Bhd.

The welfare contribution is for the armed forces (RM400,000), the Armed Forces Veteran Affairs Department (RM300,000) and the Retired Armed Forces Personnel Association (RM300,000).

Najib also said Barisan was confident of garnering a two-thirds majority again, which he considered “the minimum” because he expects the coalition to win a bigger victory.

On whether bloggers such as DAP’s Jeff Ooi could win over young voters, Najib said it was “only noise” so far.

“It is like pukul canang (hitting a gong). There is only noise but you don’t know if it is empty or half full inside,” he said.

At the event, Najib also announced that contributors to the Armed Forces Superannuation Fund (LTAT) would receive a 16% dividend and bonus payout, the highest since 1997.

He said the LTAT would pay out 7% in dividends, 3% bonus and another 6% in special bonuses to its 120,000 contributors for 2007.

“LTAT recorded a gross unaudited profit of RM606mil, a 29.2% increase compared to the RM468.9mil achieved in 2006,” he said, adding that the amount was the second highest since LTAT was established.

The highest gross profit recorded was in 1996, when the fund made RM697.6mil.

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