KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 2 — Barisan Nasional (BN) and its partners will contest in all 73 state seats in the Sabah election, Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said today.
In a video by state news agency Bernama TV, Bung Moktar who is also Kinabatangan MP was cited as saying negotiations for seat distributions are expected to be finalised within two weeks, but he declined to comment on the number of seats that Umno hopes to contest in.
“I am not able to say yet because all this is still under negotiations but we will convince our allies that Umno has to be given more seats because we have our strength,” he told reporters.
As for when he intends to meet with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which is an ally, Bung Moktar said the seat talks could be “finalised” in two weeks’ time: “In these two weeks, all completed.”
Bung Moktar also said there would be 85 to 90 per cent of new faces just for the candidates contesting for Umno in the Sabah state election.
Bung Moktar was previously reported as saying he would contest for the Lamag state seat and today again confirmed this.
This comes as allies Umno and Bersatu are at loggerheads over the number of seats each will contest, with Sabah Bersatu chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor saying his party wishes to contest in 45 seats.
In response, Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa said Bersatu can contest “as many seats it wants”, but must concede the seats to the “stronger party” if it wishes for straight fights with ruling Parti Warisan Sabah.
On July 29, former Sabah chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman claimed he had sufficient majority to take over the state government after several state lawmakers defected.
Musa’s attempt to take over the Sabah state administration was thwarted when Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal announced on July 30 the dissolution of the state legislative assembly to pave the way for a state election which has to be held within 60 days.