MCA incumbent Datuk Edward Khoo Keok Lai has pooh-poohed talks that UPKO is eyeing the Kepayan seat. He said his party will be defending the constituency and his name has been forwarded to the Prime Minister to be renominated for the election next month. “I never heard of the rumours,” he said, adding the MCA headquarters has suggested his name to the BN Chairman together with the list of other leaders who will be fielded for the March 8 election. “If I am given the chance, I will contest. As you know it is not confirmed yet. But our party has submitted my name to the PM. Names for MCA candidates for the whole country are submitted bythe headquarters, including my name,” he told reporters here yesterday. Asked whether he has any alternative seat should the BN leadership decide to give the Kepayan seat to UPKO, he said: “I don’t think this is the topic for today. Like I said I never heard of such rumours.” Not disclosing any other MCA candidates whose names were included in the list, Khoo also declined to discuss whether MCA has made any request for additional seats in Sabah, where it only represents the Kepayan state constituency. The Sabah liaison committee chairman saidMCA is fully prepared to face the election and will leave it to the voters to decide the winner. “We are all ready, not only in Kepayan but all over the State, in every division. We will give our very best to make sure that not only MCA but all the BN candidates win their seats. He said in Sabah, though MCA is only representing one assembly seat, the party altogether has 25 divisions covering the 25 parliamentary seats. They are all ready to ensure a victorious election for BN. According to him, nobody knows the exact outcome of the election or, for that matter, who will win a particular seat, at least until the polling day is over.An insider source from UPKO said on Sunday that voters in Kepayan want the Kadazandusum Murut (KDM) majority area to be represented by the party. Kepayan is a traditionally KDM area with 60 percent of the voters there Kadazans, said the source, so it is appropriate for the constituency to be given back to UPKO. Kepayan UPKO division has the highest number of memberships with more than 3,000 members, said the source. Khoo in a ceremony earlier presented financial assistance to 42 recipients under the Urban Poverty Eradication Programme. Speaking at the ceremony, he said the BN Government has always been assisting the people through its various agencies. He said the assistance distributed to the local residents yesterday was just one of the many schemes and programmes that have been put in place by the Government to help the people.