PETALING JAYA: Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Bung Moktar Radin today apologised to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, who is BN chairman and Umno president, for failing to fulfil the party’s wishes for him to be appointed Sabah chief minister.
On Monday, Zahid insisted that the chief minister should be from Umno-BN, expressing his concern about having to concede the post to any other party. However, he later said that he accepted the decision of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) to name Sabah Perikatan Nasional (PN) chief Hajiji Noor as the state’s chief minister.
Prior to the elections, Zahid had said he left it to the state Umno-BN leadership to decide on the matter, in line with the autonomy that was given to them.
Noting that Umno-BN only won 14 out of the 32 contested seats in the recent state polls, Bung said this made it difficult for the party to assume the chief minister’s role.
“The polls this time around were very unusual. Each seat had many parties and independent candidates contesting through various logos and getting support from the public.
“I will conduct a post-mortem to find out why we lost most of the seats we contested. We will also make improvements to ensure Umno-BN can regain the seats in the next polls.”
He also urged people to stop blaming Umno leaders over the election results, saying it would not help to bring down the party over personal agendas.
“Taking a step back does not mean defeat, but rather we are ready to take a big leap towards the future.”
The recent state elections saw Warisan-Plus winning 29 seats (Warisan with 23 and DAP 6), PN 17 (PPBM 11, STAR 6), Umno (14), PBS (7), PKR (2) and Upko (1). Three independent candidates also managed to secure a seat each.
The GRS alliance of PN, BN and PBS declared victory after having secured 38 seats among them.
Bung, together with STAR president Jeffrey Kitingan and PBS vice-president Joachim Gunsalam were sworn in as the state’s deputy chief ministers yesterday.
He was appointed works minister while Jeffrey took charge of the agriculture and fisheries ministry and Gunsalam the industrial development ministry.