He said the combination of Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor and Sabah Umno chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin was the best to lead the opposition front.
“The two leaders make the best combination for us,” he said in a statement Wednesday (Aug 5) amid concerns over the relationship between the opposition parties in Sabah.
The two national parties, combined with local-based opposition parties, would strengthen the opposition front and meet the aspirations of Sabahans.
“This combination of all (opposition) parties under Perikatan Nasional will add value to the strength of the Perikatan-led Federal Government, as well as bring benefit for Sabah,” he added.
Firdaus said people would accept the new combination of leaders and would also bring young leaders into the state government for the interest of developing the state and improve state and federal relations.
Sabah’s opposition alliance remains hazy a week after the state assembly was dissolved, although Hajiji and Bung discussing seat-sharing among the loose opposition grouping is something still in the works.
Sabah Bersatu announced its intention to contest 45 of the 73 seats, while Sabah Umno under Barisan Nasional is asking for 73 seats, adding that it was ready to negotiate with opposition parties.
Another Perikatan ally, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), led by Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, is eyeing 30 seats and wants to contest on its own symbol.
Other allies include Sabah STAR led Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan have yet to indicate the seats they are seeking in an opposition field that is going see new players, including former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman leading on a Parti Cinta Sabah platform and former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin expected to take over Usno.
Bersatu did not contest the May 2018 elections in Sabah and only spread its wings to Sabah in April 2019, taking over nearly all Sabah Umno elected representatives, which left Sabah Umno with only Sungai Sibuga assemblymen Tan Sri Musa Aman and Bung, the Kinabatangan MP.
Sabah Umno under Bung is now keen to take their back traditional seats, and this is creating uneasiness in negotiations for seat sharing.
The position of former chief minister Musa, who attempted to retake power through defections, remains uncertain as some forces within Sabah Umno are not keen to see him lead again.
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