Sabah Umno hopes to contest new seats


SABAH Umno is eyeing for the opportunity to contest in several new state seats in the upcoming Sabah state election (PRN), its liaison chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin (picture) said.

He said there are areas including Sungai Manila in the Libaran parliamentary constituency which are also Umno’s stronghold and hopes that the party will be given due consideration to field its candidate in meetings with other Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties and its allies such as PAS and Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

“With the increase in the number of state seats, there are areas which are Umno strongholds including Sungai Manila. For sure, Umno has an advantage there if it is allowed to contest,” he said when met by reporters after officiating the Umno branch meeting at the Sungai Manila district polling centre.

In the 14th General Election, a total of 60 state seats were contested, but in July last year, the Dewan Rakyat approved a motion to add 13 more state seats in Sabah, bringing the total to 73 seats.

Apart from Sungai Manila in Libaran parliamentary constituency, other new state seats are Bengkoka in Kudat parliamentary constituency, Darau (Sepanggar), Limbahau (Papar), Telupid (Beluran), Lamag (Kinabatangan), Kukusan (Kalabakan), Bandau (Kota Marudu), Segama (Lahad Datu), Pintasan (Kota Belud), Tanjung Keramat (Putatan), Pantai Dalit (Tuaran) and Tulid (Pensiangan).

Bung Moktar also said Umno would nominate 80%-85% new faces in the PRN and priority will be given to young candidates to give more space to youths to develop the country.

He also said candidates have been identified from among those who can win and are accepted by the people, but it has not been finalised, as they have not discussed the matter with its allies yet.

“It is useless for us to demand a constituency if both our party and candidates are weak.

“That is why Sabah Umno will submit data to support why we want to request for certain seats and who we will highlight as a candidate,” he said.

Asked if former Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman, who is the incumbent for the Sungai Sibuga state seat, has met with him about defending his seat, Bung Moktar said there were no direct communications, but he was open for discussion.

On the judicial review filed by Musa and 32 other state assemblymen who are seeking the leave of the recent decision of Yang di-Pertua Negri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin to dissolve the Sabah state assembly, Bung Moktar said that the court decision would not affect efforts to strengthen the party machinery.