Chief Minister Musa Aman assures PBS that Sabah BN will maintain the status quo on seat distribution

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Chief Minister Musa Aman today assured that the proposal to let an Umno candidate stand in Matunggong this general election would not be carried out. In a statement, he said Barisan Nasional (BN) would continue to field a candidate from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the seat. “I have referred to the deputy prime minister,” he said, referring to Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.
“The issue related to the ‘lending’ of the seat was merely a suggestion by certain parties, just like what has happened in other areas before. “Upon explanation, seat distribution among component parties in Sabah will remain status quo, just like the proposal forwarded by Sabah BN which I have said before.” Musa added that the position and roles played by each party in BN must be respected and acknowledged.

“This is the Sabah BN stance on the matter, and this is also my principle in leading Sabah Umno,” he said. Matunggong is a state seat in the Kota Marudu federal constituency, located about 135km from here. It has about 21,000 voters. On Sunday, Zahid had asked PBS to “lend” the seat to Umno so that BN could wrest back Matunggong, which was won by Jelani Hamdan on a PKR ticket in the last general election. Jelani subsequently left PKR and is now seen as BN-friendly although he has yet to join any party. The deputy prime minister also said the ruling coalition was hoping to retain Kota Marudu with a bigger majority, and that Jelani would help BN secure victory in Matunggong. Zahid’s statement caused uproar among PBS leaders with PBS deputy president Maximus Ongkili taking to social media to slam the suggestion. “This suggestion is indeed unacceptable to PBS because Matunggong has always been a PBS seat,” Ongkili said in a Facebook post.
Parti Cinta Sabah supported PBS in the matter, saying Zahid’s statement was an affront to Ongkili and the Rungus community which makes up the majority of voters in Matunggong.