Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Sabah Barisan leaders not fretting over timing of state polls

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Barisan Nasional parties say it makes no difference to them if the state election is held earlier or together with the general election.

Leaders of its component parties said they were already prepared for the election, irrespective of when it will be held.

Parti Bersatu Sabah acting president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili said the party has already done the necessary groundwork for the polls.

He said the party was confident that its candidates could win back the six state constituencies they lost in the 2013 general election.

“The last election was a tough one but we are confident that all the seats allocated to us are still in the winnable deck,” said Ongkili.

Liberal Democratic Party president Datuk Teo Chee Kang said early polls for the state were possible.

“Whether Sabah is going to go ahead with the state election first or at the same time with the Parlia­mentary polls, we are ready,” he said.

United Pasok Momogun Kadazan­dusun Murut Organisation informa­tion chief Albert Bingkasan said the party had heard of talk of possible early polls for the state.

“Whatever happens, we are prepared,” he added.

Deputy Chief Minister Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan was quoted as saying that Sabahans could be in for a surprise with state polls being called early.

Some state Barisan officials did not rule out the possibility of elections in April, saying they did not want to be caught up in national political issues that could affect sentiments in the state, while the local opposition is widely seen as being divided.

Barisan officials believe that the elections can be held with the current 60 state seats, though others expect the state to go into election mode only after the 13 new state seats are approved by Parliament some time in March.

Source : The Star Online