Monday, February 25, 2008


Chinese bodies welcome back Dompok


Various Chinese organizations here turned out to welcome back UPKO president and BN candidate for Penampang Tan Sri Bernard Dompok to his hometown. They pledged to give their full support to him and to help ensure BN win the 12th general election on March 8. The President of Penampang Industrial and Commerce Council Datuk Kenneth Yen said Dompok has to be given the mandate to become the Parliament Member of Penampang, based on his position as the Federal Minister. “If Dompok is.given the mandate to become the Parliament member here and reappointed to the Federal Cabinet, this district will be more developed in the future,” he said. Also present were President of Northern Chinese Association Alvin Lee, Donggongon Chinese Kapitan Chin Sin Yu, Lido Chinese Kapitan Yong Thien Loi, Donggongon JKDB Chairman William Chin, President of Donggongon Community Association Yi Yee Sin, Chairman of Fook Tet Kun Temple Wee Man Kok, Penampang Charity Chairman Chua Kuan Yin and representatives from Democratic Liberal Party (LDP).


Independent candidate nearly misses cut-off time


When Dr Anthony Tibok handed in his nomination papers to contest the Penampang parliamentary seat as an independent candidate yesterday, he was just three minutes shy of the l0am cut-off time. Charging in with his proposer and seconder close at hand, the biotechnology expert was a man in a hurry. And when he spoke of the need for change, he made his stand clear that the Kadazandusun community, particularly in Penampang, have no time to lose. “My challenge is to bring the voice of. the people. In Malaysia, it is the pribumis, not the Hindraf (Hindu Rights Action Front) people making noise in the peninsula, who are truly the poorest in the nation. “Sabah went from being the richest state in Malaysia in the 1970s to being the poorest state now. Ninety-five percent of our riches are going to Petronas and only five percent is coming back to us. “Are we getting a fair deal from the federation? The Government policy is wrong and this cannot go on but where are our ministers? Why are they keeping quiet,” he said, visibly shaking with emotion. Anthony, who said he had worked as a researcher in France, England, Hong Kong, Indonesia and locally, admitted that he is “just a small guy standing in the dark” compared to his competition but was adamant that he was taking a necessary risk. “I know that Tan Sri (Bernard Dompok) is a well-known Kadazan leader, but I will continue to shout about the issues that face us here. “I don’t care (about rating my chances), let the people choose. If they want a voice then vote for me, if not then vote for someone else,” he said. The other independent candidate, Willybroad Missi, also charged the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) Government with poor treatment of Sabahans, particularly the Kadazandusuns. Sporting a traditional “siung” or bamboo hat to go with his traditional Kadazan “berudu” or shirt, he declared his struggle to “defend” his people’s rights. “I see that the natives, my people, have been really oppressed by the present Government system ... I wish to continue the struggle to uphold democracy,” said the 47-year-old businessman. Like the other candidates outside of the BN, be it from opposition parties or independents, Willybroad said his main objectives are to solve the long-standing problem of illegal immigrants, fight corruption and develop Moyog and Penampang on the whole. “I see the trend now is the people want a change in the Government. The present Government is not suitable to the local society in Sabah,” he said.


Pairin does not expect to face brother

Keningau Barisan Nasional chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan did not expect his brother, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, to contest against him in the Keningau parliamentary area. “I am not expecting this to happen between me and my brother in this election,” he told reporters after the announcement of candidates by returning officer Haji Zulkifli Nasir at the community centre here. Pairin who is also the PBS president, said he and Jeffrey have different ways in their struggle and he would leave it to the people to decide who is the better leader between them. “The campaign starts today and I believe the BN could get strong support from the people because BN is a good Government,” he said.


All challenged in Tawau except Ghapur


Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Abd Ghapur Salleh won the Kalabakan parliamentary seat unopposed again yesterday but the other coalition candidates are challenged. Incumbent Merotai assemblyman Datuk Liew Yun Fah who was dropped and rumoured to be standing as an independent candidate in the area, threw his support to the BN candidates yesterday. “I won the Kalabakan parliament seat because I have carried out many developments in the area. Here, I need to remind the voters again, especially in Kalabakan, to vote for the BN if they wish to live comfortably with more development. “The concept of BN is cooperation, but those who go against the laws and regulations will be rejected from Umno. I hope I can bring the new BN candidates to have a visit to Kalabakan and introduce them to the residents there,” said Ghapur. The 65-year-old Umno veteran who arrived at the nomination centre with his proposer Ramlee Bin Rasida @ Rashida and supporter Apor Bin Hajari at 9. 10am, was also unopposed in Kalabakan in the last general election in 2004. The Merotai state seat is a five- cornered fight for BN candidate Pang Yuk Ming, 42, who is challenged by Mohamad B Tingka, 55, of PAS and three independents- Salman Bin Nurillah, 40, who is using the key symbol, Moktar B Ahmad, 48, (umbrella) and Soon Thien Fook, 57 (oil palm trees). Pang, who was the communication secretary for his predecessor Datuk Liew Yun Fahwas proposed by Ahmad @ Jepang B Tapah and supported by Thein Kui Sang. They arrived at the nomination hall at 9. 12am. Expressing his surprise over his nomination, the BN contestant said he would try his best to serve the residents in Tawau if he wins the seat even though he has many businesses in Kota Kinabalu. Soon, who resigned from Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) to be an independent candidate, disagreed that Liew was not selected to defend the Merotai seat. “I decided to resign from LDP to become an independent candidate for Merotai seat even though Datuk Liew had disallowed me to do so. However, I feel very confident,” said Soon who was accompanied by his proposer Dumit B Rasit and supporter Anas Bin Hemma to the nomination centre at 9.05am. The Tanjung Batu state seat will be a battle ground for four candidates. BN candidate Datuk Hamisa Bte Samat, 59 is facing PKR’s Dullah Bin Hashim, also 59, and two independent candidates- Mohammad Jeffry B Rosman, 34, (clock symbol) and Dasun Bin Sumbin, 57 (aeroplane). The Sebatik state seat is contested by Abd Muis B Picho, 51, of BN and Arsad bin Jamal, 58, of PKR and independent Raden Bin Kakung, 48, who is using the smoking pipe symbol. For the Tawau parliamentary seat, Datuk Chua Soon Bui of BN is taking on Chan Foong Hin of DAP and Berhan Ruslan of PKR. The Sri Tanjong state seat is vied by BN candidate Samson Chin Chee Tsu, Jimmy Wong Sze Phai (DAP) and Datuk Kong Hong Ming (PKR). In Apas, Tawau BN chairman Datuk Tawfiq Abu Bakar Titingan is challenged by Ardi Arsa (independent) and Vun Kon Pau (PKR) while Balung is a one-to-one fight between incumbent Datuk Syed Abas Syed Ali n PKR candidate Mohd Abdillah Timbasa.


Lack of agreement will hurt opposition chances
PKR and DAP contesting in same constituencies


The chances of the two leading opposition parties, Parti Keadilan Rakyat and Democratic Action Party, in winning seats in the March 8 general election might be affected by their failure to strike a deal on the seats they are vying for. The two parties had failed to reach a compromise on fielding of candidates in various areas against Barisan Nasional, resulting in them contesting in same constituencies. According to PKR State deputy liaison chief Christina Liew Chin Jin, the DAP’s struggle is slightly different from theirs. “DAP wants representation of two- thirds in the Parliament while we in PKR are more interested in changing the whole government system,” she said. “This overlapping of opposition candidates is purely due to failure in reaching an amicable solution,” she added when met after submitting her nomination forms for the P172 Kota Kinabalu and N15 Api-Api seats at Dewan Maksak in Likas, yesterday. She will be contesting the state seat against DAP Kota Kinabalu branch chairman Dr Hiew King Cheu and BN-PBS newcomer Chin Teck Min and independent candidate Kong Yu Kiong. Asked about her chances of winning the Kota Kinabalu seat, Liew said both Hiew and her would do a gentlemen contest.” Parti Keadilan Rakyat believes the Penampang electorate wifi swing in their favour come polling day on March 8. State information chief Dr Edwin @ Jack Bosie, who will contest for the Penampang parliamentary seat, said the party has every reason to be here in reforming the Government. “We can see that our people in Parliament and the State are not doing much for our own people. If they were doing well, I don’t think Keadilan would be here,” he said when met at the nomination centre at the Tun Fuad Hall here, yesterday. When asked about his chances to win the Penampang seat, the 51-year- old trained veterinarian and conservationist said he is “very confident”. “My chances are very good. The wind has been blowing and it is very clear, we want a change. The basis of my struggle is to reform the system we want to have a good system that is fair and transparent,” he said. Keadilan’s candidate for Kepayan, Datuk Chau Chin Tang, said meanwhile that his chances are “as good as anybody’s chances”. “Being a Sabahan, we will have to save Sabah from the illegal immigrants and make sure that we control the oil, that’s about all, because this is the fight of every Sabahan, not just my fight. That is the reason I’m coming out of retirement after 10 years,” he said. Chau, who is the State Legal Committee chairman for Keadilan, reiterated Edwin’s confidence that the electorate will vote in their favour. “The sentiments are with us, its a big swing. Just because you have a big crowd (at nomination day) doesn’t guarantee a victory. It is the sentiments of the people and the current issues, this is what will determine whether they want you or don’t want you,” he said. The 65-year-old Kota Belud native noted that he will have the advantage of the Sembulan voters, particularly those in the low-cost housing area who he said he had assisted in the past. “I served as a YB for five years in Sembulan and part of Kepayan is Sembulan, especially mostly the low- cost houses who have been voters and still voters. “I have an advantage in that and done a lot for the people in the low- cost houses,” he said, although adding that victory in Kepayan is in the “hands of god”. Former independent candidate Moris @ Francis Miji on the other hand believes that his involvement with Keadilan in this election will only strengthen their challenge to bring change to the district. “The leadership took me in, in a sense, so I am now in Keadilan and I subscribe to their struggle. I think I have a good chance, looking at the votes I secured in 2004 as an independent,” he said. The 54-year-old tax manager and grandfather, who is contesting in Moyog, stressed the need for change in better addressing the needs of the people. “We need some changes in leadership, in the sense that we should not be fearful of addressing problems facing the community, be it economic or social. “It is not that the previous leadership have failed ... I feel we can do better. They have done their part to a certain extent. The rakyat need people who are willing to voice out their needs without fear,” he said.


Bumburing also faces Ansari in Tuaran


Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate Datuk Seri Panglima Mojilip Bumburing @ Wilfred, 57, is facing a three-cornered contest against Parti Keadilan Rakyat candidate AnsariAbdullah, 54, and Independent Ajin @ Hazin Gagah, 58, for Tuaran parliamentary seat in the general election on March 8. Bumburing, who was sidelined for two terms previously, is making a comeback to defend the Tuaran parliamentary seat for BN after Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau gave way to him. Wilfred, who is the party’s secretary-general, won the seat in the 2004 election. Bumburing, who is also UPKO deputy president, said when asked to comment on his’ return to active politics, said people in the area still need his and BN service to bring many development projects, especially in the rural and interior areas. “People in the interior areas still need BN to help them solve their problems and also to provide a better education for them. Tamparuli and Kiulu, which still lack power supply, need BN leadership to improve the quality of life,” he said. He said he is confident of delivering the seat to BN. On his opponents, he said there is nothing personal and this is a healthy competition. “People of Sabah still need BN to continue its leadership. This is to make sure the development will continuously move forward, especially in Tuaran areas,” he added. Bumburing said that if he wins, he will, strive to develop Tuaran into a tourism town. Bumburing’s nomination paper was submitted at about 9.15am with Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau as his proposer and Ismail @ Tony b. Ibrahim as seconded, while Ansari was accompanied by Lim Ching Ping as proposer and Panilau @ Amzah b. Kohong as seconder at 9.3Oam. Ajin, accompanied by Reupin @ Roupin KK Gobik as a proposer and Johan Jam as seconded, submitted his form at 9.22am. During the nomination, there were no objections received and no nominations were rejected.


Penampang, Moyog, Kepayan BN candidates confident of winning
Dompok, Donald and Khoo have confidence of delivering seats


Confidence is high in the Barisan Nasional (BN) camp as two candidates from Upko and one from MCA registered as candidates to contest the Penampang parliamentary and Moyog and Kepayan State seats. Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, when met after handing in his nomination papers, said he was upbeat of his and the BN’s chances of defending the three seats come polling day on March 8. “We are winning. I don’t know how else I can elaborate on that,” he said. Dompok, who is returning to Penampang after serving two terms in Ranau, said there is no need for the opposition in the district because “we cover all the issues brought up by everybody”. “We have the capacity to do it. We have the commitment to tackle issues and we have the courage to carry out the mandate very high. “I have tackled contentious issues at Federal level and I’m willing to pay the price for it. We are the people who will represent the KDM (Kadazandusun-Murut) people. The KDM will be more marginalised if you go in the opposition because this will only weaken the voice that we have (in the Government) at present,” he said. Donald Mojuntin, who will contest in Moyog after vacating the Penampang seat to accommodate Dompok’s return, said the electorate has matured and is not easily taken in by political rhetoric. Donald, who won the Penampang seat with 16,032 votes in 2004, will be contesting against former independent and now Keadilan candidate Moris @ Francis Miji, and Willybroad who is the only candidate in the area going for two seats. “I think the people are wiser and wary of what the opposition is saying. We went through a lot.., in the past twice Tan Sri (Dompok) lost which means twice we had no representation, and during those periods I think we felt the difference. “People are more educated now, the older generation also know the difference between having a minister and not having a minister. “The people know now that the choice is in their hands, the people want to see progress. The Government is helping in school fees, and in this the Government spent RM3 billion this year and there is also a lot more in terms of subsidies. “The opposition is concerned about the price hike but I don’t think the Government is making an intentional hike, this is a reaction to the world situation,” Donald said. Moris is contesting the seat for the second time, having received 3,124 votes as an independent when going up against Philip. Kepayan incumbent Datuk Edward Khoo meanwhile continues to stand as the sole MCA candidate in Sabah, having won the seat in 2004 garnering 5,472 votes. It will be a three-cornered race in Kepayan, with challenges from Datuk Chau Chin Tang for Keadilan and DAP candidate Steven Jimbangan who earned 494 votes in 2004 as an independent in the same area. Khoo pledged to continue to work hard for the Kepayan constituency if he were to be re-elected for a second term. “All this while I have worked hard for the good of the people and the area I represent. This is why I am not too worried. I leave it to the voters to make their own decisions. “If I am re-elected, I will continue with many more efforts that I have yet to complete to ensure the standard of living of the people improves,” he said. Throughout the two-hour objection period after nominations closed, two objections were raised against Willybroad, but were struck out by returning officer William Sampil.


Maximus up against three in Kota Marudu


Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili, who is Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate, is facing three opponents in defending the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat. He is challenged by Anthony Mandiau from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Bersekutu president Berman Angkap and independent Ruslan Moh Zain. The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department opted not to defend the Tandek state seat this time around in which the PBS picked a woman, Lasiah @ Anita Baranting to contest the seat. The 53-year-old former People Development Leader for Tandek is expecting tough challenge from Isang Rawai from PASOK, Masingkan @ Shingkam from Bersekutu, Jurin Gunsalam from the PKR and independent candidate Andy Villson. It is a three-cornered fight in Matunggong between Sarapin Magana, who replaced incumbent assemblywoman Jornah Mozihim, Santain Menurun from Bersekutu and Muada Ojihi from PKR. Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan had initially re-nominated Jornah to defend the Matunggong seat, but she was dropped two days ago allegedly following an intervention by Maximus. Over in Kota Belud, rookie Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahian from BN UMNO is pitted in a straight fight against Saidil @ Said Semoi from the PKR. Abdul Rahman replaced incumbent Datuk Salleh Said Keruak who was dropped by the BN leadership. UMNO Kota Belud divison head Datuk Hj Musbah Jamil, who replaced another UMNO heavyweight Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, is facing Laiman Ikin @ Awang Laiman Kakimin from PKR and independent candidate Ibrahim Linggam for the Tampasuk state seat. For the Kadamaian state seat, BN incumbent Datuk Timbon @ Herbert Lagadan from PBS is involved in a three-cornered fight with a woman, Lukia Binti Indan from the PKR and lawyer Peter Marajin Peter Marazing who is standing as an independent candidate. For another BN candidate Datuk Japlin Akim @ Abd Hamid, it is a one-to-fight with Mohd Shukor Abdul Muin for the Tempasuk state seat. Nevertheless, the BN candidates for Kota Belud, Tempasuk, Kadamaian and Usukun have been rest assured of a formidable support from Salleh and Pandikar who had pledged their loyalty to the BN.


2 MP and 1 State seats unopposed


The Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) won two of the 25 parliamentary seats and one of the 60 State seats up for grabs uncontested after nominations for the March 8 general election closed yesterday. PBRS President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, who replaced BN incumbent and his Secretary-General Datuk Bernard Maraat for the Pensiangan parliamentary seat in the Interior was unchallenged. Just two days ago, Bernard dropped a bombshell when he announced that he was quitting all his posts in the party and would be contesting the seat as an independent, but his threat fizzled out and did not materialize on Nomination Day. The second parliamentary seat was won for the BN by another veteran politician Datuk Mohd Ghapur Salleh of Umno ho retained Kalabakan for the second time consecutively. The sole state seat was delivered by Ramlee Marhaban of Umno who replaced incumbent Datuk Basalie Abdul Hamid for Bugaya. The results for the three uncontested seats were announced by the Election Commission in a statement after the completion of the Nomination Day yesterday. In the 2004 general election, Sabah BN won nine parliamentary and seven State seats after the nomination, and went on to make a virtual clean sweep of all the 25 Parliamentary and 60 State seats, losing only the Sandakan and Kuala Penyu to the independents. Recently, Chief Minister cum Sabah BN Chairman Datuk Seri Musa Aman had predicted that the Sabah BN component parties, consisting of Umno, PBS, Upko, SAPP, PBRS, MCA, Gerakan and MIC would be able to repeat the 2004 feat in the 12th general election. Musa, who heads the Sabah Umno, and other State BN component chiefs, namely PBS President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan, Upko President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, LDP President Datuk VK Liew and Sabah MCA head Datuk Edward Khoo are being challenged by the opposition and independents in their respective seats. Incumbent Musa, is pitted in a four-cornered fight for the N42 Sungai Sibuga state seat with Ahmad Thamrin Jaini from Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR), Osman Enting from Bersekutu and Gusmiah Diong who is contesting as an independent. The Chief Minister won Sungai Sibuga in the 2004 general election with 6,670 votes majority. An interesting fight is brewing for the Keningau parliamentary seat between incumbent Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan and younger brother Jeffrey. Joining the two well-known Kitingan brothers in a tussle for the seat in the Interior is another veteran politician Peter Kodo @ Peter Anthony, who is contesting on a DAP ticket. Pairin is involved in a three- cornered fight in defending the Tambunan seat which he has been representing since 1976 during the then Berjaya Government. His opponents this time are lawyer Moses @ Mozes Iking and a former Peoples Development Leader for the area, Koh Kui Tze @ Francis Koh Lui Tze. Similarly, a tough fight from the opposition is awaiting Dompok, who replaced incumbent Donald Datuk Peter Mojuntin for the Penampang parliamentary seat, regarded as the heartland of the Kadazandusun. Dompok who made a comeback to Penampang after serving two- terms in Ranau is caught in a four- cornered fight with veterinarian Dr Edwin Bosi from PKR, Anthony Tibok and Levired Missih @ Willybroad Missi as independents. Over in Sandakan, Liew, who took over the LDP presidency from his predecessor Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat last year, is involved in a three- cornered fight for the predominantly Chinese area. Incumbent Chong Hon Ming who wrested the seat from then LDP Deputy President Datuk Lau Ngan Siew in 2004 but decided to stay away this time after his motion to join the BN through SAPP, was rejected. One of Liew’s challengers is the LDP Deputy Youth Chief Fong Vun Fui, who quit the party a few days ago and decided to contest to protest against Liew’s decision to stand there. The other challenger is a woman, Chong Chu Lin @ Shanty, a senior lawyer and a former Magistrate who once served for several years in Sandakan. In Kepayan on the west coast, MCA Sabah Chairman Datuk Edward Khoo who is defending the state seat for the second time is also pitted in a three-cornered fight. Khoo is also expecting a stiff challenge from another senior lawyer and seasoned politician Datuk Chau Chin Tan, a one-time assemblyman for Sembulan during the PBS tenure in power, who is standing on a PKR ticket. The other contender an engineer, Stephen Jacob Jimbangan, who is from the area is banking on him being a local to woo the voters to deliver the seat for the DAP. Elsewhere across the State, interesting fights are also expected in the days to come during the two- week campaign period between the ruling BN and Opposition. Police meanwhile described the nominations process across the State as peaceful without any untoward incidents reported from the grounds. It was reported that the weather was quite bad in certain areas like Sipitang, where the contesting candidates and their supporters have to brave the heavy rains to reach the nomination centre in time.