Friday, February 22, 2008


PBS incumbents in; Pairin sole two-seat candidate


There was little surprise yesterday as Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) released its list of candidates for the 12th General Election on March 8, retaining all its incumbents while adding two new faces to the fray. As expected, party president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan will defend both the Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state seats, making him the only candidate in the State to do so. Previously, the other candidates to hold dual representation were deputy presidents Datuk Dr Yee Moh Chai (Kota Kinabalu parliamentary, Api-Api state) and Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili (Kota Marudu parliamentary and Tandek state). Yee will now only defend his Api-Api seat, currently the only state seat under the Kota Kinabalu parliamentary constituency not occupied by a representative of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP). Newcomer and practising lawyer Chin Teck Ming, who is also a PBS supreme council member and Likas division chief, will fill in to contest the vacant Kota Kinabalu parliamentary seat. Maximus on the other hand will defend only the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat, while another new face, PBS Tandek Wanita chief Anita Lasiah Baranting, was selected to stand in Tandek. The remaining 11 state and two parliamentary seats will see familiar faces returning to contest, including PBS stalwart and founding member Datuk Michael Asang forgoing his plans for retirement to contest for another term in the Labuk state seat. Speculations that Herbert Timbon Lagadan was pulling out of the elections were also quashed as he was confirmed to be defending the Kadamaian state seat. During an interview after Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman announced the list of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidates at his official residence in Sri Gaya yesterday, Pairin said the PBS incumbents have served the people well in the last term. “They have served the people well and we want to continue for the sake of the people, for the sake of the BN and for the continuation of programmes that have been planned by the Federal and State Governments. “When you have a good boat, don’t rock it I believe all of us are focusing on making sure that the BN Government is retained,” he said. Asked about the reaction of SAPP president Yong Teck Lee to the nomination of Chin for the Kota Kinabalu seat, Pairin said it was good of Yong to concede the seat to PBS. “He had discussed the matter with other BN component members and accepted the decision by the BN leadership. “I commend his move to make way for a PBS candidate. He is a leader who is unselfish and puts the interest of the people and the BN as a priority,” he said. Yong, a former PBS member, had stated openly his interest in the Kota Kinabalu seat in the few days before Musa released the BN list of candidates, raising doubts On the BN’s chances in retaining the seat if the right candidate was not selected. Pairin said that he does not see any reason for Chin not to win in Kota Kinabalu, so long as all the BN component parties in the area work together to retain the coalition’s hold on the seat. Chin meanwhile thanked Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi and Musa for the opportunity to contest the city seat, and also Yee who he said had guided him along the way. “I will serve the community and give my very best to solve their problems,” he said when met at Sri Gaya.