Sources: Bersatu to Contest 20 Seats in Sabah

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Bersatu will contest a total of 20 state seats in the upcoming Sabah election on a Perikatan Nasional ticket, according to party sources.

“The 20 includes the eight who joined Bersatu from Umno after the last general election in 2018,” a Bersatu MP told The Malaysian Insight.

The formula, said another source, will also allow Umno to stand in the 32 seats it contested in GE14.

With as many as 52 seats going to Bersatu and Umno, the other PN parties will have to decide on the remaining 21 out of 73 constituencies.

Although 20 is lower than the initial 45 states seats Sabah Bersatu had originally asked for, it nevertheless sends a signal the party will get to keep all its defected seats, including the parliament seats it received from Umno.

Besides assemblymen, Bersatu also has 15 former Umno MPs who defected to the party after the last general election – five of whom are from Sabah.

The eight former Umno reps in Sabah are Japlin Akim (Usukan), Hajiji Mohd Nor (Sulaman), Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar (Kawang), Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif (Membakut), Isnin Aliasnih (Klias), Matbali Musah (Lumadan), Masidi Manjun (Karanaan) and Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan (Apas).

Bersatu also had one defection from Upko’s Bobey Ah Fang Suan (Nabawan).

Meanwhile, The Star reported that the PN parties are still in a deadlock over the number of seats the parties will contest in the election.

Quoting sources, the report also said Sabah Bersatu would get 19 state seats after settling negotiations for Muslim-Bumiputera seats with Sabah Umno and could possibly get one more.

Among the seats under dispute, said the daily, are Kemabong, Kuamut, Paginatan, Tg Aru, Kuala Penyu, Bengkoka and Telupid. The last two seats were added after Parliament approved a bill to increase the number of seats in the Sabah legislature from 60 to 73.

The dispute involves a mix of Kadazandusun and Murut seats, which Umno is eyeing.

PN is expected to announce its candidates on Thursday – the same day Warisan Plus will announce its line-up for the state polls.

The polls, which begins on September 12 with nominations, will be the first electoral battle between a Pakatan Harapan state government, comprising Parti Warisan Sabah, PH, as well as Upko, and PN.

Polling has been set on September 26.

The PN alliance includes Barisan Nasional (Umno, MCA and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah), Bersatu, Star, Sabah Progressive Party, PAS and Parti Bersatu Sabah.

The Sabah assembly was dissolved on July 30, following attempts by former chief minister Musa Aman to take over the government.

Governor Juhar Mahiruddin then accepted Chief Minister Mohd Shafie Apdal’s request to dissolve the state assembly. – TMI