PPBM willing to settle for fewer seats in Sabah, concedes party sec-gen

PPBM secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin (seated, centre) with Sabah PPBM leaders in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: PPBM is willing to concede to a lower number of seats after announcing its intention to contest in 45 constituencies in the Sabah election, its secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said.

“Forty-five seats was the intention but once we arrive at a compromise, that number will be reduced,” he told reporters after a meeting with Sabah PPBM leaders here today.

Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Noor had said a week ago the party had identified 45 seats to contest in the election.

In response, Sabah Umno sounded a warning to the party, saying it may want to contest more than 38 seats.

Sabah Umno communications director Ghazalie Ansing said his party remained committed to standing in all the seats it had won in previous general elections.

Hamzah said it was understandable that every party wanted back their seats but added that this had not been settled yet.

“The priority is to win back the state government under this coalition (Perikatan Nasional),” he said.

He also said PN was discussing with its partners on whether to use the coalition’s logo or the parties’ respective symbols.

On the choice of chief minister if PN managed to win the election, Hamzah said PPBM’s initial pick was Hajiji, although the matter was still up for discussion.

“Of course, Umno will have its own candidate as well as PBS and STAR. We will discuss who will be the right person to helm the state government,” he said.

Asked how PN will stop crossovers in the event it won, Hamzah said: “When we win big, no one will want to jump ship.”

He said the list of Sabah PPBM’s candidates had yet to be finalised but it would include new and old faces.

Earlier, he received 20,080 membership applications from several division leaders, taking the party’s overall membership to 105,385.