SMOKE & MIRRORS OR NOT – ‘ABAH’ MUHYIDDIN ROLLS OUT RED CARPET FOR ‘UMNO MEMBER’ MUSA AMAN – BUT ‘UNFRIENDS’ INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES – YET DOESN’T SPECIFY IF MUSA’S DEFECTORS INCLUDED – AND IF PN WILL ‘ABSORB’ THEM IF THEY WIN

TAMPARULI: Former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman has a right to attend Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) campaign trail as he is an Umno member, says Perikatan Nasional.

“It isn’t wrong for him to come and show his support for us. It’s like me, a Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) member showing my support for Datuk Joniston Bangkuai in Kiulu,” said Perikatan secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin after a rally on Saturday (Sept 19) night.

Hamzah said Musa’s action was a show of solidarity for GRS comprising Barisan Nasional, Perikatan and PBS.

“It is not merely words on a poster. We are putting it into action and it shows that we are working together,” he said while addressing a crowd in Kiulu where PBS’ Joniston will be defending his seat.

Musa has also agreed to back Sabah Barisan chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin, who is leading Barisan’s election machinery in Sabah, on his campaign trail after the Kinabatangan MP cheekily brought up the subject.

Ties between Musa and Bung are said to be strained after Musa was neither appointed to lead the machinery nor fielded as a candidate to defend his Sg Sibuga seat.

His friendliness towards Perikatan has fuelled questions on whether he has joined Bersatu but Hamzah dodged the question.

Musa also avoided the same question when asked at Joniston’s rally in Kg Nawoi on Sept 17.

Perikatan ‘unfriends’ independent candidates

TAMPARULI: Perikatan Nasional has distanced itself from independent candidates claiming to be friendly with them in the Sabah state election, says its secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.

He said it has never asked any of the candidates to contest on that claim.

“The only party we ever allowed to say it is Perikatan-friendly is Parti Bersatu Sabah. But because there are so many independent candidates claiming to be Perikatan-friendly, we changed that status to ‘partner’, which is better than saying ‘friendly’,” he said.

He stressed that Perikatan already had their partners and has never given the right to any independent candidate to consider themselves friendly with Perikatan.

When asked if Perikatan might court any victorious independent candidate after the election, Hamzah was non-committal.

“How would we know if they will win? That is all hypothetical,” he said.

Separately, Perikatan is moving forward from the initial tension of clashing between its own partners in Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), and calling on the parties to share a common goal and work towards resolving the people’s concerns.

He said the clash started when Barisan Nasional’s Umno also contested the Paginatan seat, which was initially given to Sabah STAR.

“Subsequently, all the parties started fielding candidates there. Although we couldn’t do anything to stop them at the time, I am now calling for all Perikatan candidates to focus on a common goal,” he added.

GRS, which is made up of Barisan, Perikatan and PBS are slugging it out among each other in 16 other seats such as Bengkoka, Matunggong, Tandek, Kadamaian, Tg Aru, Kapayan, Moyog, Lumadan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Liawan, Melalap, Tulid, Sook, Telupid and Karamunting.

ANN

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