KOTA KINABALU, April 10 — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has rejected Umno’s request to “borrow” a state seat that it has traditionally contested for the upcoming May 9 general election.
Describing the proposal as “inappropriate and ridiculous”, the party’s Matunggong division said it reached the unanimous decision to strongly object to the proposal that the party give the seat to Umno in order to “return it to BN”.
“It was an inappropriate act by him (Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi) to make such announcement. It shows how greedy they are. How can one just simply make a proposal to take another political party’s seat without even discussing the matter? So the answer to his request is NO!,” said PBS Matunggong Division chief Sarapin Magana in a statement today.
“He made the announcement on stage in public and before PBS two top leaders — President Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and Deputy President Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili,” said Magana, adding that it showed the ruling coalition’s greed.
Zahid, at a gathering in Matunggong yesterday, suggested that PBS “lend” the Matunggong seat to Umno for GE14, calling it a “formula” to recapture the lost seat for BN.
The decision to object to the request was also supported by PBS’ Youth and Women wings, during an emergency meeting held to discuss the matter, in Kota Marudu today, Magana added.
Magana said Zahid had overstepped his political turf because matters pertaining to seat quota and allocation in Sabah are under the purview of Tan Sri Musa Aman as state BN chief.
He added that party leaders have assured members that all seat allocations will be maintained since there would be no additional seats to contest in the coming election.
“Agreement had already been reached that all components’ seat quota and allocation would remain status quo. There should be no further disruptions that could cause instability of the BN coalition,” said Magana.
He said that the Matunggong state seat has been PBS’ traditional stronghold and would remain as one of the party’s 13 state seats to contest in GE14.
In the previous general election, BN candidate Magana lost the Matunggong seat to Datuk Jelani Hamdan, who contested under Parti Keadilan Rakyat’s ticket, and has since joined Umno.
“It was a bitter memory. And what made it worst is that the loss was due to sabotage from our own partner in BN, Umno, by ‘planting’ a former party member to go against us.
“And for them to come up and ask for the Matunggong seat is just ridiculous. We lost the seat because of saboteurs within the coalition,” Magana said.
He said if the request is pursued, PBS would seriously consider contesting GE14 under its own flag.