KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 26 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today expressed hope that Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin will be given a chance to lead the Sabah state government.
He also applauded the latter’s performance in coordinating the Opposition’s moves during the recently concluded state polls.
In an interview with Umno Online from his home, where he is under quarantine after visiting Sabah, Zahid also labelled Bung as a “gem that is not fully polished”, but who came through and secured a victory for his party.
“I am confident Bung is a gem that is not fully polished, and now it is proven that this unpolished gem has given a positive ray not just for Lamag and Kinabatangan, but I feel the ray from this gem will shine all over Sabah, and surely Bung is not a new person in politics. He was in Usno (United Sabah National Organisation), and then served a few terms as Umno division head and MP.
“When 22 of 25 Umno division chiefs left the party, he and two more division chiefs still stood by the party,” he said, adding that he values the loyalty displayed by Bung.
“I value loyalty above all other factors, and I see that Bung successfully coordinated at all levels, that is the state level, at state assembly level and in the polling districts and this surely can be used as a basis to give him the opportunity to helm the administration of Sabah later,” Zahid said in the interview broadcast via the Umno Online Facebook page.
Earlier, Bung declared victory in the state election for the Opposition alliance, dubbed Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).
The mammoth GRS comprises Perikatan Nasional (PN), BN and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), along with a slew of other local-based parties and several friendly independents.
Bung, who also won the Lamag state seat tonight, said GRS has sufficient members to form the next Sabah government after taking 38 out of 73 seats in the legislature.
“As of 9.23pm, I would like to announce that GRS has managed to secure a simple majority and can therefore form the next state government,” he said.
When asked, Bung said that negotiations to decide the next chief minister will take place “as soon as possible”.