Kota Kinabalu – Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, who earlier this month told Daily Express the current term may be his last as Parliament Speaker as he wants to return to active politics, is likely to contest his former Tempasuk state seat or the pending newly-created State seat of Pintasan.Both are in the Kota Belud parliamentary constituency.
“I have seen a lot in politics, both at Federal and State levels. With my experience and wide political network nationwide, there are a lot of things that I can contribute to the stability of Sabah’s politics,” he said.
The former Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department who formed Parti Bersih in the early 1980s upon graduating in law and also was involved in PBS and Akar, is still an Umno member.
Pandikar, 64, said he would also like to go back to Parliament where he had, for nine years now or two terms, sought to restore decorum to the House by asking unruly Members of Parliament to leave on occasions, among others.
“After nine years as Speaker, leading the Commonwealth parliamentary conference and giving orders, comments and ordering elected representatives to sit down, it my wish that I, in turn, shall be in the same House and told to sit down,” he said.
To be in the “same House” would require Pandikar to be a Member of Parliament. That being the case, he may also go for the Kota Belud MP seat, now held by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan.
Should that happen, speculation is that Abdul Rahman would move to Sepanggar.
The Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department had lately been meeting Umno divisional leaders as well as Barisan Nasional component leaders in Sepanggar, a seat now held by suspended Umno member Jumat Idris.
Should Abdul Rahman contest in Sepanggar, Jumat may be fielded in the pending new State seat of Darau.
Sepanggar now comprises the state seats of Inanam and Karambunai.
Pandikar, a former assemblyman for Usukan and Tempasuk, two state seats within the Kota Belud parliamentary constituency, had been seen at almost all public functions in the “Cowboy Town” of Sabah due to buffalo riding Bajau residents.
He first won Usukan in a by-election in 1982 when he contested on an Usno ticket and defeated Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, who was then a Parti Berjaya candidate.
Pandikar did not defend his Tampasuk seat in the 1999 general elections.
He was made President of the United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo), an association once headed by former Kota Belud MP and currently Communication and Multimedia Minister Datuk Seri Salleh.
Both Pandikar and Salleh also once served as Speaker of the State Legislative Assembly.
Pandikar is also keen to contest a state seat in the east coast, Tungku in Lahad Datu, where he has considerable following. Last week, a delegation of Usbo leaders, on a state-wide tour, was given a rousing welcome by Tungku residents.
“That was an indication that Barisan Nasional is most welcome in the constituency,” an Usbo leader said.
Tungku had always been a BN stronghold in every election in the past.
Pressed for confirmation, Pandikar said, “Where I will contest, in principle, has been finalised.
But I leave it to the wisdom of BN leaders, both at the State and Federal levels to decide.
But for now it is confirmed I am returning to politics.”
– Joseph Bingkasan