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KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Bersatu supreme council member Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has continued touting the party’s Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor as Perikatan Nasional’s candidate for Sabah chief minister, dismissing allies’ views that the matter was not yet decided.
Malaysiakini reported that Azmin, the International trade and Industry minister, told some 250 people at the Sabah Bersatu operations centre in Tuaran today that this was also the position of party chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
“This is not my personal view but also that of our Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin.
“The people need a respected figure as chief minister and he is none other than Hajiji,” Azmin was quoted saying in the report.
Azmin’s assertion was questioned later by reporters who pointed out that Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Zahid Hamidi said on Saturday that no candidate was decided upon yet.
Azmin retorted that as far as PN was concerned, Hajiji was its candidate.
“That was the position taken by Umno and BN but for PN, as mentioned by the prime minister during his visit to Sabah, we certainly have a strong and clean candidate.
“I think he should be given the opportunity to lead Sabahans after the election, God willing.
“As I mentioned, the prime minister had said openly that, on our part, PN would like to suggest Hajiji as the right candidate.
“We need to assure Sabahans that this is the future for them and the state. We have a strong candidate who is able to lead Sabah and the state government. They need to know this for the election,” he added.
PN, BN and Party Bersatu Sabah decided to join forces to win the Sabah state election and to avoid fighting for similar seats.
The partnership appeared to fail on nomination day itself when the allied parties ended up challenging one another in 17 out of the state’s 73 seats.