KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) will contest in 22 seats afterall – seven more than the seats allocated to them by Perikatan Nasional (PN) for the 16th State Election.
The seven seats namely Moyog, Lumadan, Paginatan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Liawan and Tulid are mostly KDM-majority areas, which were earlier allocated to Star, PBRS and BN/Umno.
PBS had initially announced it will be fielding candidates in 15 seats namely Bengkoka, Matunggong, Tandek, Kadamaian, Tamparuli, Kiulu, Inanam, Api-Api, Tanjong Aru, Kapayan, Limbahau, Kundasang, Melalap, Telupid and Karamunting.
However, other PN parties and its ally BN had also listed candidates in at least six of PBS’ 15 allocated seats.
PBS Deputy President cum Election Operatiom Director, Datuk Raden Malleh (pic) said PBS acknowledged the ‘friendly contests’ between them and other PN-friendly parties.
“As conveyed to the PN leadership and the Sabah public, we have indicated that there would be friendly contests in some key constituencies where PBS’ grassroots position is strong, as proven in the past elections. But our mission is clear – we want to win all seats we are contesting,” he said.
He said the matter was brought up for discussion in various meetings regarding seat allocations, and in the case of seat allocation carried out by Barisan Nasional, its Secretary-General Tan Sri Anuar Musa forewarned that there would be overlapping of seats with other parties of the coalition.
Accordingly, Malleh who is also contesting Melalap, said in the 15 seats allocated to PBS, three seats were also contested by Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah namely Matunggong, Tandek, and Kadamaian
Malleh further said that the seat of Bengkoka and Melalap were also contested by Umno of BN.
“Of course we took this in good faith that the contest would be carried out in a manner to strengthen the position of PN in Sabah. These were the basic aims as discussed in meetings with both PN and BN.
“Therefore, after undertaking a close and critical analysis of the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) areas, and based on the requests of our grassroots, we decided to enter into friendly contests in the seats of Tulid and Paginatan which we had even announced much earlier, Moyog, Tambunan, Bingkor and Liawan.
“Coincidentally, these seats were those allocated to Star. In the seat allocation meeting chaired by PN’s Secretary-General Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin, we had of course raised and appealed for our requests to contest in these seats, so it was not new,” said Malleh.
He further added that PBS decided, in response to the request of our Muslim grassroots, to enter into a friendly contest in the seat of Lumadan, which is contested by Umno of BN.
“We have done every effort to avoid collision with PN component parties that may be detrimental to our position, but we are also fully aware that it is difficult at times.
“In the seat of Tandek that was left to PBS to contest, Sabah Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Sabah Star) openly placed (incumbent Tandek Assemblywoman) Datuk Anita Baranting to defend her seat. Her proposer was the Divisional Chief of Sabah Star while the seconder Treasurer of the Sabah Star Tandek division.
“Overall, we take this as a friendly contest. What is important is that a PN component wins all seats,” Malleh stressed.
Touching on the nomination of PBS candidates today, Malleh said the first hurdle is over, and now the party focuses on winning all seats.
“Nomination went smoothly. Our machinery is going in full gear with campaign programmes.
“We are happy with the outcome. Our goal is to ensure that win all seats, with the collaboration of other parties who are members of the PN coalition,” said Malleh.
He said that aside from winning its seats allocated, PBS will also be fully committed to working with PN and its components in ensuring victory for all seats in other constituencies throughout the state.-Borneo Gazette