MO,10/4/2018, MATUNGGONG: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has been asked to “lend” the Matunggong state seat to Umno in a bid to recapture it in the general election. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi said Barisan Nasional was also aiming to retain Kota Marudu with a bigger majority through this method. “I am here knocking on your door, asking if it is all right to lend this Matunggong seat (to Umno) and contest under the Barisan banner,” he said during a meet-the-people event here yesterday.
Dr Ahmad Zahid said the Kadazandusun-Murut-majority Kota Marudu seat, was won by PBS deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili with a small majority of 842 votes in 2013. “I am thinking of a formula to win big in Kota Marudu,” he said. Dr Ahmad Zahid said being “hard-headed” would cause the coalition to lose the constituency. “We cannot afford to have problems in this final phase; we know sentiment on the ground through empirical research,” he said.
He also said Matunggong assemblyman Datuk Jelani Hamdan, who won on a PKR ticket in 2013, had pledged support for Barisan. “Jelani, now an independent, can show his support by not contesting in GE14 and work towards helping our candidate,” said Dr Ahmad Zahid in jest. Ongkili has served five terms as Kota Marudu MP. Dr Ahmad Zahid promised to return with good news should Kota Marudu delivers a big victory to Barisan and Matunggong is recaptured.
Besides Matunggong, the other state seat under Kota Marudu is Tandek, held by PBS’ Datuk Anita Baranting. Earlier in Tenom, Dr Ahmad Zahid promised to help Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak restore Sabah’s state rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963, as included in the Barisan manifesto. Dr Ahmad Zahid also launched the 15th Kalimaran Festival there.