Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Batu Sapi By Election

Tuesday, 19th October 2010

Pairin Katingan Assures PBS will retain Chinese Candidate

Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said the Barisan Nasional is likely to retain a Chinese candidate for the Batu Sapi parliamentary seat, said its president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

Speaking to reporters after a meeting of the party’s supreme council at its headquarters here, he said the list had reached as high as 10 names, but it would be shortened before discussions with Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman, who is the director of operations for the Batu Sapi by-election.

Musa, who is also Sabah Barisan chairman, is expected to chair a meeting with the state Barisan component parties Monday at 11am to discuss the Batu Sapi by-election, where PBS will submit the shortlisted names.

“Our last representative (the late Datuk Edmund Chong Ket Wah) was from the Chinese community. Obviously, the candidates were are proposing will be from the Chinese community as well.

“So we will all look at the names together, with recommendations and consultations from other component parties,” said Pairin, who is deputy director of operations for the by-election.

The deputy chief minister also stressed that the final say would be through Barisan consensus, because although the proposed names came from PBS, in the end it would be a Barisan candidate they were talking about.

Asked to comment on the fact that Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Pakatan Rakyat would each field their own candidates, Pairin said they would let the opposition do their thing as the Barisan would give full focus on the people and secure a bigger majority for the constituency from the last 2008 election.

The late Chong retained the Batu Sapi seat in the last general election with a 3,708 vote-majority against independent candidate Dr Chung Kong Wing.

Replying to questions, Pairin said the names of potential candidates proposed were from the Batu Sapi and Sandakan areas, and that family members of the late Chong were also considered, but stressed that ‘anybody is considered, even those not from the family side’.

Earlier, Pairin had stated that the coordinator for the by-election at the national level would be Deputy Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, who is also Barisan deputy chairman.

He said PBS had formed the Batu Sapi by-election machinery at the state level and at the respective constituencies.

In SANDAKAN, Sabah DAP chairman Dr Hiew King Chew said the state DAP would discuss with other Pakatan component parties on who to field in the by-election.

“The coalition’s top leadership would have the final say in the matter,” he told reporters at DAP office here. -Bernama

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