KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Wilfred Bumburing is confident that he would still fair well in this election, despite not getting the support from some of his fellow counterparts in the opposition camp.
In fact, he is positive that the people are ready for change and would show him the much needed support.
The Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) chairman is retaining his Tuaran parliamentary seat under the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) ticket. PKR also fielded him for the Tamparuli state seat.
“I believe the majority of Pakatan Rakyat (PR) supporters, particularly the Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), will back me up, because they respect the decision made by their top leadership,” he said when contacted by the Borneo Post, yesterday.
Bumburing’s nomination for the two seats were questioned by the Tuaran PKR chief Ansari Abdullah, a day after the state chief Ahmad Thamrin Jaini unveiled their list of PKR candidates in Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
Ansari also labeled Bumburing as a “liar” for failing to live up to his words not to contest in the 13th general election, besides criticising his own party for not providing the autonomy to Sabah and not recognising the decisions made by several divisions on their preferred candidates.
“Ansari is twisting the whole thing. He is the real liar. He has been going around telling people that there was an agreement between him and me over the seat allocation … it never happened.
“He claimed that we discussed the matter that I would be defending the Tuaran seat while he contest in Tamparuli … but the only time this was mentioned was when I met him at a canteen and at the time, I was in no position to make any decision since I have yet to leave Barisan Nasional.
“I was told that he had sent a memorandum to the national leaders of the so-called discussion, which never happened,” Bumburing explained.
The former deputy chief minister and United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) deputy president left the ruling coalition and set up APS to show his support to Pakatan Rakyat.
“All we want is to help Pakatan Rakyat win in the coming general election, and we did not expect to be candidates, but that does not mean we did not offer to stand (as candidate).
“In our past discussions (with PKR), we have raised the intentions to stand in Tuaran and Tamparuli, knowing that it is a KDM area, and suggested PKR to take on Kiulu and Sulaman.
“But Ansari insisted to stand in Tamparuli and stressed that if he does not get that seat, he will not contest in this election. It is sad since we do believe that he was the best candidate for Sulaman since it is populated by Bumiputera Malay voters,” he said.
Bumburing, however, admitted that he may not be getting the support from Ansari as the latter had made his intentions known that his support is strictly for PKR members who are contesting in the GE13.
“His absence will have some effect but I know most of the PKR people will give their support to me as they are eager for change. So I hope we will win and the win is a gift for PR and PKR in particular,” he said.
Earlier this month, Ansari unveiled the list of its seven proposed candidates for the West Coast North Zone, which included himself for Tuaran, surgeon-activist-author Dr Chong Eng Leong for Sepanggar, Mazhry Nasir (Putatan), Anthony Mandiau (Kota Marudu), Mursalim Tanjul (Kudat), Saidil Semoi (Kota Belud) and Jonathan Yassin (Ranau). Only Anthony and Jonathan made it into the fray.
“Wilfred is a liar,” said Ansari during a press conference on Thursday, adding: “When he announced his support to PKR, he said ‘I am here not to become candidate. I am here to help PKR. I am not interested to be a candidate’ … he said those in the past, and I have all the paper-cutting to support this. But today, you can count how many candidates they have, meaning he is a liar.
“I do not see anything he did as helping PKR, may be he helped to kick us out. We look at it in two ways, it is either he is lying or probably someone had forced him to be a candidate, thus making that person a liar.
“For us, we have a party and constitution. Most of the division chiefs are hurt. They are questioning how can an NGO which is not registered as a political party is involved in politics. It is against the law. It is also intriguing that the government is aware of this but it is not taking any action … or is this also part of its plan?” asked Ansari.
He also said for the non-PKR members to contest under the party’s symbol, it is not only insulting but rather a sign of betrayal.