Sabah Umno has many potential candidates for the position of chief minister if the party wins the upcoming state elections, said Bung Moktar Radin.
The Sabah Barisan Nasional chief also threw his hat into the ring and declared he is a potential chief minister.
“Sabah Umno has many people who can be the chief minister candidate. I can do it. My deputy (Jefri Arifin) also can, Abdul Rahman Dahlan (former Kota Belud MP) also, as well as Mohd Hasnol Ayub (Penampang Umno chief).
“There are many who can. If we can have 10 chief ministers, everyone can do it,” he told a media conference today.
The five-term Kinabatangan MP said he is going to contest the newly created Lamag seat, which falls within his parliamentary constituency.
By convention, the Sabah Umno chief also serves as the state chief minister if BN forms the state government.
However, Umno is now in a weakened position in Sabah and the party has yet to settle on a CM candidate.
Amid claims that former Sabah Umno chief Musa Aman will be dropped as a candidate in the upcoming state snap polls, Bung had said there were attempts to drive a wedge between them.
“That is a false statement created to drive a wedge between Musa and me to hurt Umno,” Bung had said.
Even though Musa is no longer the Sabah Umno chief, he managed to regroup assemblypersons who had defected from Umno for a political coup attempt against the Warisan-led government.
However, the coup was thwarted after Sabah Chief Minister Shafie Apdal, who is also Warisan president, dissolved the state assembly.
Had Musa succeeded, he would have returned as chief minister, a position which he held from 2003 to 2018.
Earlier Bung Moktar said Sabah Umno has a better chance of winning in the upcoming state election compared to other opposition parties.
He also refused to comment on Bersatu’s position in the state but said Umno should be given more seats to contest as it has been in the state longer.
The state election this time around will see 73 seats up for grabs.
Umno leaders in the peninsula and Sabah have been sniping at Bersatu’s presence in the state and the seats it should be allowed to contest since the dissolution.
Umno vice-president Mohamed Khaled Nordin yesterday told Sabah Bersatu to not be hasty in declaring its desire to contest the bulk of seats in the state election.
Khaled took issue with state chief Hajiji Noor’s statement that it will contest 45 out of 73 state seats.
“He has his party, we have ours. Bersatu only exists in Sabah because of some traitors.
“Umno will continue to get the support of the grassroots,” Khaled said on Facebook along with a post on Hajiji’s remarks.
Umno Youth information chief Shahril Hamdan also criticised Hajiji for rushing to declare the number of seats desired even before negotiations with Sabah Umno.
Hajiji was among 11 Umno state reps who left the party after the last general election.
Earlier today, Bung chaired a Sabah Umno meeting to discuss seat allocations, identify candidates, and organise their election machinery.