Opposition to clash in 17 seats with a mix of familiar and new faces

Undivided support: Barisan Nasional supporters adhering to social distancing during nomination day at Dewan Sri Lamag. — Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: There are more than one Opposition candidate in 17 seats which was evident the moment nominations closed and the names of those contesting were confirmed.

Barisan Nasional led by Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin are going head to head with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Sabah STAR, a member of Perikatan Nasional.

The 17 seats were Bengkoka, Matunggong, Tandek, Kadamaian, Tanjung Aru, Kapayan, Moyog, Lumadan, Paginatan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Liawan, Melalap, Tulid, Sook, Telupid and Karamunting.

However, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) and Barisan appeared to have reached a consensus as the two former foes-turned-allies avoided any clashes for seats.

PBS sprung a surprise during nominations yesterday by contesting for 22 seats, despite initially stating their intentions to contest 15. Eleventh hour seat negotiations involving Barisan, Perikatan and PBS are believed to have broken down, despite an attempted truce brokered by Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin on Friday.

Its unclear what caused PBS to suddenly increase its number of candidates.

PBS also fielded 11 new faces in Bengkoka, Tandek, Kadamaian, Karamunting, Telupid, Tulid, Lumadan, Kapayan, Paginatan, Tambunan and Moyog.

PBS is also fielding newbie Edwin @ Jack Bosi against Sabah MCA chairman Lu Yen Tung in Kapayan.

In Karamunting seat, PBS’ Kong Nyuk Thau will also be taking on MCA’s Chew Kok Woh.

Sabah STAR president Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan will be up against PBS, who fielded newbie Silverious Bruno in Tambunan.

The Bengkoka seat, which will have a whopping 11-cornered fight, will see Barisan’s Harun Durabi against PBS’ Dr Samuil Mopun, a political greenhorn.

Matunggong will see clashes between Barisan’s Mosinal @ Richard Kastum against PBS’ Julita Majungki, the incumbent.

Jamawi Jaffar, whose defection triggered the dissolution of the state assembly, will contest under Barisan against PBS’ Datuk Radin Malleh at Melalap.

On the other hand, Tandek will see a six-cornered fight, where Barisan’s Yillson Yanggun is set to clash with PBS’ Hendrus Anding, while Kadamaian is set to see Barisan’s Duanis Mogirong going up against PBS’ Demis Rumanti.

PBS and Sabah STAR are also set to clash in the Bingkor, where they have fielded Jino @ Peter Allion @ Alliun against Robert Tawik @ Nordin.

In Liawan, PBS’ Datuk Daniel Kinsik will also be up against Sabah STAR’s Annuar Ayub, the nephew of former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman.

The “free-for-all” situation in the 16th Sabah state election, which saw all 73 seats facing multi-cornered fights, will test the Opposition efforts in retaking the 24-month Warisan Plus state government during polling on Sept 26.

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