KOTA KINABALU: The son of the late Tun Datu Mustapha Harun is making a comeback by contesting the northern Sabah seat of Banggi.
Datuk Amirkahar Datu Mustapha said he wants to continue the family’s political legacy, adding that his father was among those who fought for Sabah’s independence together with Tun Fuad Stephens.
“I want to continue with his legacy, ” said the 70-year-old who is the only politically active son of Mustapha.
Amirkahar - who was dropped as Barisan Nasional's candidate for Banggi in 2008 general election - will be contesting as an independent.
He will be facing a seven-cornered fight for the seat against Parti Warisan Sabah’s Mohammad Mohamarin, Parti Cinta Sabah’s Kamri Kail, Usno’s Salbin Muksin, Barisan Nasional’s Akram Ismail, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS) Abdul Aziz Amir Bangsah and another independent, Mia Sin Nursiri.
He said the old Usno which his father had formed in the 60s was officially deregistered in 1994 after Mustapha moved en bloc with party members to join Umno in 1991.
However, Mustapha and a few remaining Usno assemblymen continued with the party due to the then anti-hopping law before it was deregistered and teamed up with PBS in 1994. However, he later joined Umno in 1999.
“Those who have registered Usno are not the true Usno members of the 1990s. They are just using the name, ” said Amirkahar, referring to Usno “Baru” that is being used as an election vehicle by former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia who is leading the party to contest 47 seats.
“They are using my father’s name and pictures for their campaign, I want them to apologise within 24 hours for misusing his name and legacy for their personal gains, ” he said.
Amirkahar says that he believes that he can win the seat and adds that he also has a good chance of becoming the chief minister.
“I am confident of winning my seat, ” he said, adding that he hoped to change the name of Kota Kinabalu International Airport to Mustapha and Stephens International Airport in memory of the founding fathers of Malaysia.
He said his vision is to bring Sabah out of poverty and change the livelihood of all its people in this state.
“If I become the chief minister of Sabah after this election, the first thing I will work on is to make Yayasan Sabah the foundation it was formed for, which is to help the people, ” said Amirkahar.
His 62-year-old wife Datuk Aminah Ambrose will also be contesting as an independent in an 11-corner fight for the Bengkoka seat.
Amirkahar said the decision to contest as independents together with his wife was a mutual decision.
Meanwhile, Aminah said she and her husband only decided to go in as independents at the last minute and added that thedecision came after she was not named as candidate for Banggi by Sabah Bersatu.
However, she said she decided to go her own way to pursue her dream and mission of helping her constituents better.
“I know we are capable of leading and representing the people. My husband and I have been on the ground with our grassroots for many years, ” she said.
Aminah considers herself a veteran in the political arena, having followed her husband and being involved in politics ever since he started his political The 10 others who are contesting in the Bengkoka seat are Upko’s Junsim Rumunzing, PBS’ Dr. Samuil Mopun, Usno’s Omar Jalun, Pertubuhan Perpaduan Rakyat Kebangsaan Sabah Rita Cham, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS)’s Jose Modsinupu, Barisan Nasional’s Harun Durabi, Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah’s Soijin Juhui, and independent candidates Akian Ah Kiew and Pransol Tiying.