Abdul Rahman challenged by four in Kota Belud

KOTA BELUD: Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan is defending his Kota Belud parliamentary seat in a five-cornered fight with a woman engineer Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), tax consultant Jalumin Bayogoh of State Reform Party (STAR) and two independent candidates.

Abdul Rahman, who is also Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary, served as Kota Belud MP since the 2008 general election. He beat PKR Saidil Semoi who obtained 14,822 votes with 17,842 votes five years ago.

Isnaraissah Munirah, 31, who is also Sabah PKR Srikandi chief, is contesting for the first time after joining the party in early 2011, and is confident of winning.

Meanwhile, 50-year-old Bayogoh is STAR national youth chief.

The two independent candidates are Kanul Gindol and Lamsil Hamidsor.

Abdul Rahman is confident that the multi-cornered fight will split the opposition and will benefit BN.

“I believe the multi-cornered fight will be an advantage to BN. We can see the opposition are not even united, so they will face the consequences.

“It is important for BN to win Kota Belud so that we can continue all the programmes that we have planned here, namely the Jelapang padi programme, and the agropolitan and oil and gas support system,” he told reporters after submitting his nomination form at Dewan Masyarakat Tun Said here yesterday.

When asked on the water crisis in the district, he said water was not the main problem in Kota Belud, especially with four water treatment plants available for the people here.

“The water treatment plant in Kota Belud town will be completed by next week, so water problem will not be a problem anymore. Those with piping system will be able to have clean water within next week.

“This water treatment plant should have been completed in December 2012, but due to some problems it was delayed for about six months. However, water problem will be solved within a week,” he said.

Meanwhile, Isnaraissah Munirah hoped the 13th general election would be a new chapter for Malaysia for having a new government.

“I want to be part of this history to have a new coalition to rule the government so that I can bring Kota Belud to a higher level.

“Do not be surprised if there are children from Kota Belud not going to school because of poverty. We also have a number of families staying in one house because there is no housing assistance from the ruling government,” she added.

The second cousin of former Chief Minister Datuk Seri Salleh Tun Said also said there was not objection from her family to stand under the opposition even though her cousin (Salleh) was also standing as a BN candidate for the Usukan state seat.

“My family is very supportive of this move, and they also believe in Pakatan Rakyat (PR) after what they had done in several states in Peninsular Malaysia, especially in Selangor and Penang.

“After having a meeting with our machinery tonight, we will start our campaign in Tempasuk and Usukan areas, and after that we will continue in Kadamaian,” said Isnaraissah Munirah who is fluent in English, Malay, Dusun and Bajau.

Bayogoh, when asked whether he was confident of winning the multi-cornered fight, said the party had started campaigning since two years ago and received an overwhelming response from the grassroots.

He said STAR’s manifesto which was launched recently would be the party’s campaign material to ensure their struggle would be understood by all voters in Kota Belud.

The Election Commission (EC) closed the nomination for Kota Belud parliamentary seat, together with three state seats, at 10am yesterday.

Names of parliamentary and state candidates were announced by EC at around noon before 2,000 supporters of political parties and independent candidates.

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