SEMPORNA: The Semporna east coast town that hit the headlines following the Sulu intrusion, is seeing another battle with a crowded field of contenders for three state seats under its parliamentary constituency.
For the Semporna parliament seat, the son and a nephew of two pioneer Sabah Umno leaders are slugging it out in a three-corner fight while the state seats of Sulabayan, Bugaya and Senallang are seeing seven, six and five-way fights respectively.
Taking on Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, the nephew of former Sabah chief minister Tun Sakaran Dandai, is independent Datu Badaruddin, the son of another Sabah's first chief minister Tun Mustapha Datu Harun dissolved his Usno to allow Umno's entry into Sabah in 1991.
In the fray is also PKR's Dr Zamree Mohd Suffian Abdul Habi. Badaruddin is also contesting the Sulabayan state seat where Sakaran's son Datuk Nasir is defending his seat in a seven-corner fight involving PKR, STAR and three other independents.
Another seven corner fight is Kalabakan parliament seat in the east coast, where UMNO's former state minister Datuk Abdul Ghapur Salleh is facing candidates from PKR, STAR and independents.
In Sungai Sibuga state seat, Chief Minister Datuk Musa Aman is facing a five-way challenge from candidates Irwan Syah Mustafa (PKR), A,M.Jaffar (SAPP), Mohd Rosalan Yussof (STAR) and Mohd Arshad Abdul (Independent). Another intense fight is building in Silam where its state seat of Kunak is contested by six candidates including Barisan's Datuk Nilwan Kabang who is defending it against Kasman bin Karate (PAS), Valentine @ Rengers Sebastian (STAR) and independents Abd Sattal Shafiee,Hussein Ibnu Hassan and Sharif Shamsuddin bin Sharif Sagar.
In Tungku state constituency which encompasses Kg Tanduo where the Sulu standoff lasted two months, Barisan's Datuk Mohd Suhaili Said is defending the seat in a five-cornered fight involving Datu Shuaib bin Dato Mutalib (SAPP) Johani bin Abd Halim (PKR), Johan bin Nul (STAR) and independent Tsen Yun Fah @ Mohd Azlan Tsen Abdullah.
The man who was suspended for alleged Umno money politics, Datuk Yusuff Apdal, the younger brother of Shafie, is being challenged by a former Umno People's Development Officer Aliandu Enjil of SAPP in Lahad Datu state seat.
The other contenders are Hamid Awong @ Abdul Hamid Awong (PKR) and independent Ariffin bin Hamid @ Alfa Hamid.
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