Perikatan ‘unfriends’ independent candidates

TAMPARULI: Perikatan Nasional has distanced itself from independent candidates claiming to be friendly with them in the Sabah state election, says its secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (pic).

He said it has never asked any of the candidates to contest on that claim.

"The only party we ever allowed to say it is Perikatan-friendly is Parti Bersatu Sabah. But because there are so many independent candidates claiming to be Perikatan-friendly, we changed that status to ‘partner’, which is better than saying ‘friendly’," he said.

He stressed that Perikatan already had their partners and has never given the right to any independent candidate to consider themselves friendly with Perikatan.

Hamzah has also instructed Perikatan campaign workers to remove any materials that would suggest any of the independent candidates were affiliated with the coalition.

When asked if Perikatan might court any victorious independent candidate after the election, Hamzah was non-committal.

"How would we know if they will win? That is all hypothetical," he said.

Separately, Perikatan is moving forward from the initial tension of clashing between its own partners in Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), and calling on the parties to share a common goal and work towards resolving the people's concerns.

He said the clash started when Barisan Nasional's Umno also contested the Paginatan seat, which was initially given to Sabah STAR.

"Subsequently, all the parties started fielding candidates there. Although we couldn't do anything to stop them at the time, I am now calling for all Perikatan candidates to focus on a common goal," he added.

GRS, which is made up of Barisan, Perikatan and PBS are slugging it out among each other in 16 other seats such as Bengkoka, Matunggong, Tandek, Kadamaian, Tg Aru, Kapayan, Moyog, Lumadan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Liawan, Melalap, Tulid, Sook, Telupid and Karamunting.

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