KOTA KINABALU: Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Abdul Rahman Dahlan is ready to be transferred from his Kota Belud parliamentary seat to Sepanggar, where its MP Jumat Idris has been suspended by Umno since 2015 over a Facebook post critical of the Sabah chief minister.
And among those backing Rahman’s transfer is Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Raymond Tan.
“We want our people in Sepanggar to come out and request for him ‘to come home’,” Tan told a dialogue session with the Federation of Sabah Industries in Inanam near here today.
“As a leader, Rahman can contribute much more for the future. This is what the people are asking here,” he said.
Speculations over Rahman’s transfer to Sepanggar followed Deputy Prime Minister Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s speech in Kota Belud, in which he thanked Rahman for his contributions to the constituency, while saying that a Barisan Nasional (BN) leader would be replaced to serve a new area.
But Rahman has remained coy on his possible candidacy for Sepanggar, one of the hot seats in Sabah at the next polls.
“My guess is as good as yours,” he told reporters when met after an economic dialogue with the Federation of Sabah Industries in Inanam near here today.
“You know, as we always say, the decision is always with the Prime Minister (Najib Razak) and Chief Minister (Musa Aman),” said Rahman.
Rahman, who won the Kota Belud seat with a 5,095-votes majority, said he would remain loyal to BN even if he was not named as a candidate.
“If fate should have me being rested for the time being is also not a problem. I will work with whoever becomes the BN candidate, anywhere,” he said.
In April 2015, Umno suspended Sepanggar MP Jumat Ramli, after he openly criticised Musa in a Facebook post.
The Sepanggar seat was created in 2004 and has been won by BN ever since. Jumat won the seat with 22,845 votes, defeating his closest contender Jeffrey Kumin from PKR with a majority of 9,442 votes.
Jumat had among others suggested that then Umno vice-president Shafie Apdal, who was later dropped from the Cabinet, should replace Musa as the state party chief.