‘Don’t touch Upko seats’

Upko warned its political brothers in Parti Bersatu Sabah to stop asking for its seats.

(FMT) – KOTA KINABALU: A Sabah Barisan Nasional component party’s view that a ‘convincing’ BN victory can only occur if the state and parliamentary seats are aligned to a single party has come under heavy criticism by United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko).

In not so many words, Upko secretary-general Wilfred Tangau told his political brothers in Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) to zip it.

“Tuaran and Bingkor seats are not up for grabs. PBS should just focus its energy and resources on working closely with other BN component parties.

“Stop talking about claiming seats that have been traditionally allocated to other component parties,” he said alluding to recent calls from PBS for certain seats to be given to them.

Upko, led by Bernard Dompok is a spin-off from PBS.

During PBS’ 27th annual congress recently, its Tuaran and Bingkor divisions had suggested that the seats be given to PBS because “it was easier to administer the parliamentary constituency” if the state seats were allocated to the same party.

There are some 40,761 voters in Tuaran parliamentary constituency. Tuaran has three state seats – Tamparuli (14,291), Sulaman (16,076) and Kiulu (9,773).

Tuaran parliamentary seat is currently held by former Upko deputy chairman Wilfred Bumburing. Bumburing defected in July to form his own platform Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) which had aligned itself to Pakatan Rakyat.

PBS is now staking a claim on the seat. PBS already holds Tamparuli and Kiuli state seats under Tuaran parliamentary constituency. The third state seat is Sulaman held by Umno’s Hajiji Noor.

In the last election, PBS’ Jahid @ Nordin Jahim polled 6,775 votes to win the Tamparuli seat with a 5,758 majority, while Hajiji (Umno) garnered 7,065 votes to take the Sulaman seat with a 3,482 majority and Lovuis Rampas (PBS) won the Kiulu seat with a majority of 2,279.

Meanwhile Bingkor, which is under Keningau parliamentary constituency is currently held by Upko’s Justin Guka. Keningau MP is PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan. Pairin is also Tambunan assemblyman.The other two seats are Liawan (Umno) and Bingkor.