Will it get dirty between LDP and Gerakan?

Sabah-based LDP will not make any compromises on the Karamunting seat, held by Peter Pang, who won it in 2008 whilst in LDP.

Queville To, FMT

KEPAYAN: Sabah Barisan Nasional minnows, the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), wants back a seat it lost to Gerakan after its assembly representative defected to the fellow ruling coalition member.

Party president VK Liew said this week that there could be no compromise over the Karamunting state seat that was taken away by its former elected representative Peter Pang En Yin, after the latter left LDP in 2010 and joined Gerakan last year.

Liew, a deputy minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, said the party’s stand over the issue was not negotiable as the seat had always belonged to LDP since 1999.

“Of course we are determined to take it back. How can a member of a political party who left the party as YB after having won it on the party ticket take the seat away. It is against the principle of Barisan Nasional.

“If that can happen to any other party in Barisan Nasional it would break up the Barisan Nasional concept and that would not be good and we would not allow that to happen,” he told the media when approached at the joint Annual General Meeting of its Kepayan and Moyog divisions at its headquarters here.

The status of the peninsula-headquartered Gerakan in the state government and the prickly relations it has with the Sabah-based LDP has been compounded by the awkward issue of the Karamunting state seat that it has taken over by default.

Having seen its power and influence in Chief Minister Musa Aman’s state government decline ever since a rift between the party’s former leader, Chong Kah Kiat and Musa, LDP has been struggling to recover its leverage in the state.

The distribution of seats in the state among the BN coalition partners for the impending 13th general election will determine its future standing in the state.

Since the spectacular falling out between Chong and Musa over a plan to construct a towering ‘Goddess of the Sea’ statue in Kudat, LDP has struggled to regain its footing within the state government.

But while Chong is still spoken of admiringly for his skilful and polished administration of the state when he was chief minister under the BN’s rotation’ of leadership among the communities, Musa has been pilloried by the opposition as inept and corrupt.

LDP may suffer

Political pundits in the state believe the fallout between the two could still have an impact in the coming elections and observed that during Prime Minister Najib’s recent visit to Kudat, Chong’s home town, the latter was not seen.

Meanwhile, asked to comment on his secretary-general Teo Chee Kang’s call last Sunday for the creation of more Chinese constituencies in Sabah, Liew who is also the MP for Sandakan said this would not be necessary.