Despite clashes with allies, Sabah BN campaign boss says yet to see sabotage

Party flags are seen during the Sabah state election campaign in Luyang, Sabah September 14, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif
Party flags are seen during the Sabah state election campaign in Luyang, Sabah September 14, 2020. — Picture by Firdaus Latif

KOTA KINABALU, Sept 17 — Sabah Barisan Nasional election director Datuk Seri Bung Mokhtar Radin said the coalition has not detected sabotage either internal or from allies with overlapping claims on seats being contested in the 16th state election.

The state Umno chairman said they have been monitoring the situation through BN district polling centres but have not been informed of any such action.

BN is part of the informal Gabungan Rakyat Sabah that also included Perikatan Nasional and local Sabah Opposition parties, which was cobbled together to jointly challenge the ruling Warisan Plus pact.

Despite this arrangement, however, the GRS parties still managed to clash in nearly a quarter of the 73 seats up for election.

“In the 741 district polling centres we have under us, we have not received a single report of sabotage,” Bung said.

Aside from the overlapping seat claims, BN and PN are also in disagreement over who among them should be the candidate for chief minister.

Today, Bung also insisted that the cooperation with PN has been encouraging, saying the latter coalition has been supportive of BN’s campaign.

“We have a good working relationship with them. In Bongawan and Lumadan they came to support our campaign. We are all allies in Gabungan Rakyat Sabah,” he said

The BN campaign director previously expressed hope that there would be no sabotage as the coalition was given only a limited number of seats to contest in this election.

As the former ruling coalition, it had contested every seat in the state in 2018.

The main cause of the clashes this time around was due primarily to a former BN component, PBS, which signed on with the GRS but was contesting on its own ticket.

After triggering clashes in 11 seats, the party went ahead and expanded its claim despite a supposed truce brokered under PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.

On nomination day, it emerged that GRS parties were contesting against one another in 17 seats.

Polling for the Sabah election is on September 26.

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