KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin says he is open to discussing with Tan Sri Musa Aman on the possibility of the Sungai Sibuga incumbent assemblyman defending his seat.
Asked if the ex-chief minister had met him to talk about the matter, Bung Moktar said while there was no direct communication yet, he was willing to discuss it with Musa.
On the judicial review filed against Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin’s decision to dissolve the Sabah state assembly by Musa and 32 other incumbent assemblymen, Bung Moktar said efforts to strengthen the party machinery continued regardless of the court’s outcome.
The Kinabatangan MP also said that Sabah Umno was eyeing to contest in several of the new state seats, including Sungai Manila under the Libaran parliamentary constituency, in the upcoming polls.
“With the increase in the number of state seats, there are areas which are Umno’s strongholds including Sungai Manila.
“For sure Umno has an advantage there if it is given the opportunity to contest, ” he said this to reporters after launching the Umno branch meeting at the Sungai Manila district polling centre in Sandakan on Saturday night (Aug 8).
The 13 new state seats in Sabah were approved in the Dewan Rakyat last year, bringing the new total of state constituencies to 73 seats.
Besides Sungai Manila, other new state seats are Bengkoka under the Kudat parliamentary constituency; Darau (Sepanggar); Limbahau (Papar); Telupid (Beluran); Lamag (Kinabatangan); Kukusan (Kalabakan); Bandau (Kota Marudu); Segama (Lahad Datu); Pintasan (Kota Belud); Tanjung Keramat (Putatan); Pantai Dalit (Tuaran); and Tulid (Pensiangan).
Previously, Bung Moktar was quoted as saying that he was considering contesting for the Lamag seat within his parliamentary constituency.
While saying that 80% to 85% of the candidates nominated by the party were expected to be new faces in the upcoming polls, with priority to younger candidates, Bung added that this was still being finalised with their political partners.
“It is useless for us to demand a constituency or insist on our candidate being the representative there when our party or candidates do not have a strong influence in such areas.
“That is why Sabah Umno will submit data to support why we want to request for certain seats and who we will field as a candidate, ” he said.
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