KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno is ready to negotiate with other component parties and partners about seat allocations for the state election.
Its chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, however, declined to reveal the number of seats his party was eyeing.
Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, on its part, had stated that it was keen to contest in 45 seats (out of the 73 at stake).
Bung Moktar said that Umno, together with its component parties PBRS and MCA, partners Bersatu, PBS and Sabah STAR, as well as all other independents, would contest all the 73 state seats against Parti Warisan Sabah.
He also said that Umno was not planning to contest “less” than what it did in the last general election, while not side-lining other member parties.
Umno contested 32 out of the 60 state seats in the last general election.
According to Bung Moktar, Umno Sabah expects to field at least 85% new faces.
For this coming state election, there will be 73 state seats following Parliament’s aye last year to increase the number of state seats in Sabah.
“Our strategy, among others, is to handle candidates identification, seat allocation, revamping of election machinery and to identify our voters, ” Bung Moktar said after a meeting with Sabah Umno leaders yesterday.
He said they would also look into a manifesto that could be offered to the people, unlike Pakatan Harapan and Warisan that he claimed had given voters’ false hope and unfulfilled promises.
“This coming election is an extraordinary one because all the contesting parties have their own strengths and weaknesses, ” he said.
What was important, he said, was the ability to be able to convince voters that Umno and its partners would be the better choice as the government.
“We are undergoing major changes within the party.
“We promise to perform better than the former leaders and to give our best in serving the people for the sake of development and stability, ” he said.
On whether the group of assemblymen, who had joined former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman in last week’s failed attempt to take over the state government, would join Umno, he said no decision has been made.
“Discussions are there but there is no concrete decision as yet, ” he said.
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