Those who have shown signs of being disloyal can also expect to be dropped, says a party insider.
KOTA KINABALU: Most of the current Sabah Umno assemblymen may be replaced in the 13th general election. While some sense it is coming their way, other names being mentioned in the grapevine may come as a surprise.
Party insiders here said only a few of the incumbent Umno assemblymen will be retained to re-contest.
Currently, Umno is holding 32 state seats.
Pressed for the actual number of incumbents being retained, the insider, who refused to be named, said “a revelation could start a panic, even war” within Sabah Umno.
“But suffice it to say that many can start packing now. And those who have shown signs of being disloyal can expect to be dropped,” the insider told FMT.
“Disloyal” in this case would refer directly to Umno westcoast warlord Lajim Ukin who has been widely rumoured to be joining Sabah People’s Front. Also on the “disloyal” list is Rahim Ismail of Pantai Manis, Papar. Rahim has a history of disagreements with Chief Minister and Sabah Umno chairman Musa Aman.
“There are also a few other names. We must understand that since the last general election, Umno Sabah has been in a process of renewal and rebranding.
“But then one or two of those who were to be dropped (in the 2008 election) had to be allowed to contest due to intense pressures, some to the point of rebelling.
“But now that the Prime Minister [Najib Tun Razak] has been campaigning for transformation on all fronts, Musa has complied accordingly,” the insider said.
Sabah Umno list with PM
Meanwhile, Musa said yesterday that the party had finalised the list of candidates for the coming general election.
He said the list has been submitted for Najib’s approval.
When asked by reporters if there will be any new faces in the line-up, Musa said, “I cannot tell you now.”
To a question if Sabah Umno would be asking to contest the same number of seats it did in 2008, Musa said: “That’s up to the prime minister who is also the Barisan Nasional chairman.”