Sabah Bersatu 'too busy with Covid-19' to think of GE15, says Masidi

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Bersatu has yet to look into seat sharing for the 15th General Election even as its coalition partner Umno declared an intention to contest 14 or more of the state's 25 parliamentary seats.

"I am so busy with work, especially managing the Covid-19 menace, that parliamentary seat allocations never crossed my mind," Sabah Bersatu deputy chairman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (pic) said on Tuesday (Feb 16) in response to Umno's earlier announcement that it wanted to stand in its traditional seats.

Masidi declined to comment further on the matter, which includes Sabah Umno looking to take back five seats now being held by Bersatu.

The incumbents won the seats on Umno tickets in GE14, and the five MPs crossed over to Bersatu which spread its wings to Sabah in April 2019.

On Monday (Feb 15), Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who is Sabah Barisan Nasional chief, said that in GE14, Umno was given 14 parliamentary seats - Kudat, Kota Belud, Sepanggar, Papar, Kimanis, Beaufort, Sipitang, Tenom, Beluran, Libaran, Kinabatangan, Silam, Semporna and Kalabakan.

In GE 14, Sabah Umno won eight seats, only to see the five Bersatu crossovers and Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman leaving to become an independent.

However, an Election Court declared the Kimanis polls null and void, and Umno's Datuk Mohamad Alamin regained the seat in the subsequent by-election.

Bung, who is Sabah Deputy Chief Minister under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government, said the party's target of 14 or more seats in GE15 was based on a study of "winnable seats".

Sabah Barisan Nasional is now a partner of GRS which also consists of Perikatan Nasional (Sabah Bersatu, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party or SAPP, and PAS) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Bung's call implies that Sabah Umno wants to take back Beluran, Sipitang, Libaran, Beaufort and Kudat.

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