KOTA KINABALU: Umno Sabah will be working with allied parties in the state in the coming election, its liaison chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin has said.
He said Umno Sabah and the opposition bloc would be contesting against Warisan in all 73 seats.
Speaking to reporters after a Umno Sabah leaders meeting yesterday, Bung Moktar said: “Today we decided that Umno Sabah, Barisan Nasional (BN) and our comrades would contest in all 73 state seats against Warisan.
“Umno Sabah would discuss among the BN component parties, MCA and PBRS, in a couple of days about the seats distribution and after that, meet with the opposition bloc on the same matter. I expect the seats division matter would be completed in two weeks time,” he said.
The cooperation and understanding between the opposition bloc was very important in order to win the election, he pointed out, adding that this would be an ‘extraordinary election’ for all parties – be they Warisan, Umno Sabah or other political entities.
“All parties have their strengths and weaknesses. What is important to me is that the parties are able to convince the voters and the ‘rakyat’ (people). This time round, we are practising the new normal, and the ‘rakyat’ out there are definitely waiting for new deals that can be fulfilled; not like PH and Warisan in the last election where they made offers but were unable to fulfil them – leading to their downfall,” opined Bung Moktar.
This was what happened when a ruling party was unable to fulfil its promises made to the rakyat and that was why Umno Sabah would offer new deals to the rakyat, deals that it could implement and fulfil, he said, adding that this was to ensure the stability, security and economic development in Sabah as well as give the rakyat confidence.
“We give our assurance that we will give our best service to the rakyat. We will bring about a major change and also put priority on the interest of our future generations. This is because they are the future leaders of the state and country. We are the pioneer for them to come forward.
“We are confident with the right cooperation and strategy as well as suitable candidates, Umno Sabah, BN Sabah and parties in the opposition bloc will be victorious,” he said.
According to him, Umno Sabah expected to contest in the same number of seats it did in the previous election. In 2018, Umno Sabah contested in 32 out of the 60 state seats.
He said Umno Sabah would discuss with the other parties before making a final decision on the seats it would be contesting in, adding that while the party had established itself in the state and had its strengths, “we will not exclude comrades in the opposition bloc as they all have their own strengths too.”
Bung Moktar added that they were in the process of identifying the candidates for Umno Sabah and 85 per cent of them would be new faces.
Bung Moktar, who will be contesting in the new state seat of Lamag, stressed that although Umno Sabah was still finalising the list, it would announce the names of candidates who were winnable so that there was no waiting and the constituents would be in the know.
To the question on Tan Sri Musa Aman’s status in the party, Bung Moktar said he was still a member of Umno Sabah.
“What happened recently was clear, it was the decision by state elected representatives from several parties. There was no coalition between the parties. This was what happened in the federal level too,” he said when asked about Umno Sabah’s disassociation with Musa over the latter’s recent move in the Chief Minister tussle.
Bung Moktar was also coy about Umno’s choice for Chief Minister should the party win in the election.
“There are many in Umno Sabah who can be Chief Minister, I can, my deputy (Senator Datuk Yakub Khan) can, Datuk (Abdul) Rahman (Dahlan) can, Datuk Hasnol (Ayub) can. There are many, even 10 people if they are all allowed to be Chief Minister,” said the Kinabatangan member of Parliament.