KOTA KINABALU: Penampang BN chief Donald Mojuntin has implored all BN component parties to voice out their opinions and concerns in meetings among themselves before going to the media.
He said the recent statement by Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) Moyog chief John Chryso Masabal about a quota for the Penampang parliamentary seat and Moyog seat could have been misunderstood by those who do not understand the issue.
“I think perhaps this is because PBS supporters here would like to be given the opportunity to represent the seats.
“Suffice to say that each area will face the same issue because BN has several components and each will want to have the chance to represent the seats,” he said.
Masabal had said in a statement that the BN leadership should consider allowing more of its component members to contest in Penampang in the coming election.
He said doing so would make BN stronger and united, especially because PBS has a good track record, having never lost an election even when it was in the opposition.
He even quoted Penampang Umno chief John Ambrose who, in the past, suggested that PBS be considered to contest in one of the seats in the Penampang constituency.
Penampang and Moyog seats are both reserved for United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) while Kepayan, the other state seat under Penampang, is reserved for MCA.
Mojuntin, who is also Upko secretary-general, said while parties are free to lobby for seats, in the end the quota for each BN component party is decided by the BN supreme council.
“The decisions are up to the prime minister and the respective presidents of each of the BN component parties.
“I would implore all component parties, if they have anything to say about it, to talk it out at the Penampang BN meetings.
“I don’t want, especially at this juncture when the election is so close, any misunderstanding or misperception out there.
“As far as I am concerned, we are quite united here among the BN component parties here in Penampang,” he said.
Mojuntin added that he did not regard Masabal’s words negatively but was more concerned that others might take them differently.
However, he said as far as Upko was concerned, the quota remained the same. This meant that Upko will hold on to the Penampang parliamentary seat and the Moyog state seat.
The party lost Penampang in the last election to Darell Leiking and Moyog to Terrence Siambun, both of whom contested on the PKR ticket. Both of them later joined Warisan.
Upko’s outspoken president Bernard Dompok, who was defeated by Leiking, stepped down as the party’s president 10 months later in 2014.