SANDAKAN: Independent candidate Hamzah Abdullah has claimed that he has more than 50 Parti Amanah Negara (Amanah) members who support his campaign in the looming May 11 polls here.
“There are more than 50 Amanah members committed with my struggle to defend the people’s rights, who are also not afraid of being expelled,” said Hamzah who was former Sabah Amanah chairman.
His remarks came following a warning issued by Sabah Amanah chairman Haris Alimudin that disciplinary action will be taken against its members for supporting Hamzah, who resigned from all posts in the party last August.
Without mincing his words, Hamzah questioned Haris’ credibility and claimed that his successor is only targeting party positions.
“Haris has no business to talk about discipline as he himself is part of an agenda to sidestep me after Amanah formed the government," Hamzah claimed.
Hamzah also claimed that it was Amanah which offered him an opportunity to form the party’s Sabah chapter in 2015.
"I did not join Amanah. Instead, it was the party that offered me the chance to form Sabah Amanah way back in May 2015," he said
Hamzah first broke party ranks when he contested the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat during the previous general election against Parti Warisan Sabah’s Datuk Liew Vui Keong, who’s also the de facto Law Minister.
Last August, Hamzah said he was forced to step down from all positions in the party because some of its members refused to cooperate under his leadership.
Earlier, Haris said Amanah ordered all its members to give full support to DAP candidate Vivian Wong’s campaign in the Sandakan by-election.
Haris also said that Amanah will be tasked with wooing Muslim votes in Sandakan because support from the Muslim community is crucial in the May 11 polls.
Sandakan has about 40,000 voters comprising 51% Chinese and 45% Muslim bumiputras. The rest of the electorate was made up from the Kadazandusun community and others.
The Sandakan polls are set to see a five-cornered fight between DAP, Parti Bersatu Sabah, and three independent candidates.