Sabah Umno decides tomorrow on the number of seats to contest

BUNG MOKHTAR

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno will decide tomorrow the number of seats it will contest in the upcoming election, its liaison chairman, Bung Moktar Radin, said.

He said the meeting would also determine the direction to be taken by Umno and Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) in their bid to win all the seats to be contested by them.

He told Bernama a list of candidates had been prepared although it had not been decided where they would be standing in.

Bung said the autonomy given to Sabah Umno to determine its candidates was the best approach since it was led by a local leader and showed that it was not “just a party” from the peninsula.

On the increase in the number of seats from 60 to 73, he felt it was time for this to be implemented given the large size of the state.

Bung, who is the Kinabatangan MP, confirmed that he would be contesting the Lamag seat, recently created in the Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency. Kinabatangan has two other state seats – Sukau and Kuamut.

In July last year, the Dewan Rakyat approved a bill to increase the number of state seats to 73 which, Sabah Election Commission director Rohiman Rahia said earlier, would all be contested in the upcoming election.

The 13 new seats are Bengkoka, Bandau, Pintasan, Pantai Dalit, Darau, Tanjung Keramat, Limbahau, Tulid, Telupid, Sungai Manila, Lamag, Segama and Kukusan.

Before the dissolution of the state assembly on Thursday, Umno only had one seat after losing 16 of the 17 it won in GE14 when its assemblymen quit the party to join Warisan and PPBM.

Its sole seat – Sungai Sibuga – was held by Musa Aman, who claimed last week he had the simple majority to form the state government.