77-Year-Old Pairin Could Contest In GE14 If He’s Still Needed

Pairin, right, with his deputy, Maximus Ongkili at a recent function. The veteran lawmaker who had earlier indicated stepping down from active politics at the end of the current term is tempted to have another go.

KOTA KINABALU: Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the longest-serving Sabah lawmaker, said he may consider contesting in the 14th General Election if he is still required to serve the people.

After dodging the question at several of his recent events, the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president said he would consider defending the Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state constituencies which he has lehd for over 30 years.

“Do you want me to stand again? I will consider it (contest),” he was quoted as telling reporters after opening the 10th-anniversary carnival of the Sabah Development Corridor here on Thursday.

Pairin, a deputy chief minister, who had earlier announced his retirement from politics by the end of the electoral term, was asked by reporters if he would contest in the next general election if the Prime Minister said his service to the people was still required.

“Whether I stand or not, you will know on nomination day. We will cross the bridge when we come to it,” he said.

When asked by reporters at the PBS Chinese New Year open house here last month, Pairin had also replied: “Just wait for nomination day. But PBS is ready to face the election.”

PBS acting president Maximus Ongkili had also said in December that the party had frequently discussed nominating Pairin in GE14.

Pairin, 77, has been active in politics since 1975, is still considered a respected political figure in Sabah.

But under his watch as Infrastructure Development Minister, Pairin came under the microscope after two agencies under his watch – the Sabah Water Department as well as the Sabah Railways Department – came under investigation by the Malaysian Anti Corruption Agency for massive corruption.