Former Umno supreme council member Lokman Noor Adam has proposed newly-elected Usukan assemblyperson Salleh Said Keruak as a potential candidate for chief minister if the deadlock between BN and PN cannot be broken.
This is after both BN and Perikatan Nasional cannot agree on the chief ministerial candidate.
PN wants to nominate Sabah Bersatu chief Mohd Hajiji Noor as chief minister while BN is looking at Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin.
Both men met with Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin this afternoon and decided to allow him to decide which among the two is likely to command a majority in the state assembly.
Lokman said Sabah needs a leader who is capable and is respected by both sides of the political divide.
“Salleh is the best candidate among the BN and PN assemblypersons who won,” he said.
Salleh served as the Sabah chief minister between 1994 and 1996.
He was also the communications and multimedia minister from 2015 to 2018.
During his tenure as a federal minister, he defended then prime minister Najib Abdul Razak against criticism amid the 1MDB scandal which eventually led to BN’s defeat in the 18th general election.
Lokman is also a staunch defender of Najib.
Lokman was sacked in February as an Umno supreme council leader amid vehement attacks against Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi who had mooted a unity government.
Gabungan Sabah Rakyat (GRS), comprising BN, PN and PBS, won the Sabah election, winning 38 out of 73 contested seats, giving it a two-seat majority.
The coalition has also recruited three independent candidates who won in the election to bolster its majority.
However, they cannot agree on a chief ministerial candidate.
While PN won the most seats in GRS, the 17 seats were contributed by two parties, namely Bersatu (11) and Star (6).
Umno is arguing that even though BN won only 14 seats, all of them were contributed by Umno, making it the single party with the most seats in GRS.
Both say they have the right to determine the chief ministerial candidate.
Meanwhile, PBS won a total of seven seats. MKINI
MALAY MAIL / MKINI