BN picks Bung Moktar to lead the charge in Sabah

Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin.

KUALA LUMPUR: Barisan Nasional (BN) has named its Sabah chief Bung Moktar Radin to lead the charge in the coming Sabah state election.

Bung Moktar, the Kinabatangan MP, is also Sabah Umno chief.

The decision was announced by BN chairman Ahmad Zahid Hamidi at Parliament today.

“As Sabah BN chairman and Sabah Umno chairman, Bung will lead the coalition and the party at the upcoming state elections,” Zahid said.

He added that BN would be willing to negotiate on the allocation of seats with Sabah-based parties, including Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and STAR, and any list of candidates would be finalised only after such discussions.

“BN is willing to compromise when it comes to contests for the same state seats that are being eyed by PBS and STAR.

“Similarly, we are open to working with Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), which is now led by former foreign minister Anifah Aman,” he said, adding that discussions will be held with former Sabah Umno leader, who left the party shortly after the 2018 general election.

Zahid said BN will also decide on the candidate to take up the position of chief minister if the coalition achieves victory with a simple majority in the elections.

There are 73 seats up for grabs in the Sabah state assembly.

Yesterday, the Election Commission announced that the Sabah state polls will take place on Sept 26 with early voting set for Sept 22. Nomination day is set for Sept 12.

The election was triggered by the dissolution of the state assembly on July 30 amid a political crisis, which requires a new election to be conducted within 60 days.

Meanwhile the fate of the state election also rests with the Kota Kinabalu High Court which is set to rule on Friday whether to allow a judicial review application by 33 assemblymen against Sabah Governor Juhar Mahiruddin’s decision to dissolve the assembly.

Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman and 32 other assemblymen had filed the review after questioning the July 29 written request from Chief Minister Shafie Apdal to Juhar to dissolve the assembly.