KOTA KINABALU: Two former chief ministers are making a comeback as heated contests are set for nine of the 25 Sabah Umno divisions.
Datuk Salleh Tun Said Keruak, chief minister from 1995 to 1996, is bidding to take back the Kota Belud division now held by state assistant minister Datuk Musbah Jamli when the division meets on Oct 18.
Datuk Osu Sukam, chief minister from 1999 to 2001, is taking on former state minister Datuk Rahim Ismail for the Papar division on Nov 1.
Both Salleh and Osu were heading the Kota Belud and Papar divisions respectively.
Salleh gave up the post in 2004 for Musbah while Osu resigned as the division chief on July 12, 2005 due to his gambling debts scandal.
Other divisions seeing contests are Batu Sapi where state Speaker Datuk Juhar Mahiruddin will be challenged by Sekong assemblyman Datuk Samsudin Yahya.
Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Lajim Ukin might face a challenge in Beaufort from his Wanita chief and state minister Datuk Azizah Mohd Dun.
Deputy Foreign Minister Datuk Rahim Bakri is in a four-cornered fight for the Kudat division where three contenders include Datuk Amirkahar Tun Mustapha (son of a Sabah founding leader) and assistant minister Bolkiah Ismail.
Other divisions having contests are Silam, Tenom and Beluran.
Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman is set to be returned unopposed in his Libaran division while Unity, Culture, Arts and Heritage Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal remains the undisputed Umno chief in his east coast Semporna division.
Contests are also expected in at least eight Wanita Umno divisions and 14 state Youth divisions.
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