KOTA KINABALU: Although Jenifer Lasimbang faces a four-way battle for the Moyog state seat, she knows the main rival in her maiden election foray is Barisan Nasional’s (BN) Donald Mojuntin.
But the PKR member, who is contesting on a Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) ticket, doesn’t consider Mojuntin an enemy.
“Don is a good friend and he’s a good person,” she said, referring to Mojuntin by his nickname.
“He is my political opponent, but I have nothing against him. What I am against is BN.”
Mojuntin, a seasoned politician with the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), was the Moyog assemblyman from 2008 to 2013.
Jenifer, who was once a consultant for Unicef, said her friendship with Mojuntin would not stop her from fulfilling her political duties and telling the truth about BN.
She added however that while she would “definitely have a go” at the coalition and Upko, she would keep her promise not to resort to personal attacks in order to woo voters.
The other two candidates vying for Moyog are Parti Cinta Sabah’s Bandasan Tunding and Danim Siap of Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).
Jenifer was nominated by Pakatan Harapan (PH) and Warisan as the Moyog seat is held by Terence Siambun, who won on a PKR ticket in the last election but joined Warisan in 2016.
Her older sister Jannie is also contesting for the first time in the coming election. She is DAP’s candidate for the state seat of Kapayan which, together with Moyog, form the Penampang federal constituency.
With the electoral understanding between PH and Warisan, the sisters have joined forces and campaigned for the first time together, speaking to voters in Kg Kivatu, Penampang, on Labour Day.
As they are both new to the political scene, they look to their older brother Philip for guidance and insight despite his ties with Upko.
Philip was Moyog’s assemblyman from 2004 to 2008, and Penampang MP from 1999 to 2004.
He withdrew from politics in 2013 after losing to Moyog incumbent Siambun.
Jenifer and Jannie said their brother was generous with his experience and willing to share his knowledge of politics and the Moyog-Penampang political landscape.
“He prepared me on things to do before, during and after going into ‘battle’,” Jenifer said.
“He’s a loving brother, and I’m very thankful because even though he is no longer in politics, he’s never shy about giving me advice.”
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