TAMBUNAN: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has told its members and supporters in Kadamaian that its move to trade the state seat in Sabah with the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is for the overall good of Barisan Nasional (BN).
PBS secretary-general Johnny Mositun said he understood their disappointment as the seat, previously contested unsuccessfully by PBS, will be contested by an Upko member in the 14th general election (GE14).
PBS will, in turn, run for the Bingkor state seat last contested, and lost, by Upko.
“In the end, a difficult decision had to be made in the overall interest of BN as we prepare for a tough general election,” he said.
“It should be noted, however, that the quota for each BN party remains the same as it was for the previous general election in 2013,” he said.
“The top leaders of both parties made the decision after detailed discussions and it is final,” he told Kadamaian PBS leaders and members at Kampung Malangkap in Kadamaian today.
The swap sees Ewon Benedick of Upko representing BN in Kadamaian, while Peter Alliun of PBS runs in Bingkor. Both are newcomers.
Advising the party members to abide by the decision and give their full support to Benedick, Mositun said they should prove PBS was a strong asset to BN by ensuring victory.
“That will prove your strength and effectiveness. It will prove that PBS is a force to be reckoned with in Kadamaian,” he said.
“When the time comes for a redistribution of seats in the next general election, with the addition of 13 new constituencies, the strength you show now will pay off with the return of Kadamaian to PBS.”
Mositun said the assurances and safeguards demanded by PBS members in Kadamaian in return for accepting the decision would be placed before the party’s Supreme Council for action.
“I am also giving notice to the BN candidate from Upko that PBS members must not be neglected or overlooked for posts and opportunities in Kadamaian if he becomes the elected representative for Kadamaian,” Mositun said.
“He must reciprocate appropriately for PBS’ support.”
Benedick said he appreciated Kadamaian PBS’ acceptance of his candidacy and for continuing to support BN.
“I will serve all fairly and adopt an open, even-handed approach.
“I will not discriminate against anyone as an elected representative. That I assure you,” he said.