KOTA KINABALU: The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) is all geared up to win back the Penampang parliamentary seat, which it lost to the opposition in the 13th General Election.
Acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau said all party machineries are in place and they were now more confident of taking the seat back from Darell Leiking, who beat their president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok in 2013.
Leiking was with PKR at the time but quit the party in Sept 2016 to join Parti Warisan Sabah.
Upko also aims to recapture the Moyog state seat which was lost to PKR’s Terence Siambun, and MCA’s Kapayan seat, which was lost to DAP’s Dr Edwin Bosi, Tangau said.
“We have some 51,000 registered voters in the Penampang constituency, of which more than half are Barisan Nasional (BN) members,” he said when launching the Penampang election machinery at Kg. Madsiang on Sunday (Feb 4).
“We in Barisan will win if all our members voted for our candidates,” Tangau said, urging all party members to trust and support the party in the coming polls.
Meanwhile, he said Bosi, who had recently quit DAP to join unknown party – Parti Anak Negeri – has voiced his interest to join Upko.
“We welcome him but he cannot give any terms in joining, such as wanting to contest the Kapayan seat again because this seat is for MCA, and we respect MCA,” he said.
Tangau said Bosi would also need to bring all his supporters with him to join Upko if the move materialises.
He said the people of Penampang would enjoy development in various aspects if they chose Barisan candidates because only Barisan can give the allocation needed to change their lives.
Tangau said if they chose Barisan, it also meant that they are already choosing their Chief Minister and Prime Minister.
“If the opposition won, their choice for prime minister would be a 93-year-old man, who was also the premier for 22 years,” Tangau said.
He said this person was the person who caused havoc in Sabah’s political system and the reason behind the “mother of all problems in Sabah” a likely reference to Project IC.
The “Project IC” was supposedly carried out during the premiership of Dr Mahathir, where identity cards were said to have been given to illegal immigrants to allow them to vote.
“Do we want this person to be our prime minister again?” he asked.
Earlier in the event, Tangau also handed over membership applications to new applicants, including former beauty queen Botiza Disimon, who was Leiking’s staunch supporter in the last general election.