KOTA KINABALU: Although Sabah Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin is viewed as the frontrunner for the Chief Minister’s post, Datuk Hajiji Noor and even Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal cannot be ruled out of the race.
The 62-year-old Umno supreme council member led the Barisan machinery in the election, helping Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) clinch 38 seats against their main rival, Warisan Plus.
While the brash nature and controversial statements of the Kinabatangan MP – who won the Lamag seat in the polls – have landed him in trouble on several occasions, he is known to be an affable man among his constituents and as someone not afraid to speak his mind.
The other frontrunner, Hajiji, who is Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief, is known to be a Mr Nice Guy.
The 65-year-old is a popular and well-liked leader in his area of Sulaman.
He previously served as state minister under Tan Sri Musa Aman’s administration.
Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin has yet to make his choice for Chief Minister, having asked for more time to decide.
Under the state constitution, he even has the option of appointing the single party with the largest number of seats in the state assembly, which in this case is Parti Warisan Sabah.
In that case, Warisan president Shafie may yet end up as a contender in the race.
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