KOTA KINABALU: If the early preparations for the 15th General Election (GE-15) is anything to go by, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) seems to be “mulling over” the idea of contesting the Tuaran Parliamentary constituency in the upcoming election.
Political observers believe apart from Kota Marudu, PBS, the oldest local party in Sabah, might likely consider fielding candidates in its traditional seats of Tuaran, Ranau, Sandakan, Keningau, Batu Sapi, Tawau, Kota Kinabalu, Penampang, Sepanggar and Tenom.
But, they said PBS is “almost certain” to put up a candidate in Tuaran following the party’s move to mobilise early the election machinery for the seat.
For the record, PBS won two state seats of Kiulu and Tamparuli out of four that made up the Tuaran parliamentary constituency in the last state elections.
The other two state seats of Sulaman and Dalit were won by Bersatu and Umno respectively.
Political obervers also predict that PBS might likely opt for a senior party leader to be the candidate for Tuaran to take on the incumbent UPKO President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau, who is expected to defend his seat. UPKO is one of the component parties of Pakatan Harapan (PH). Umno has also hinted that the party is keen to contest the seat under the dacing symbol.
One of the high-ranking PBS leaders from Tuaran is Deputy President, who is also the State Assemblyman for Tamparuli, Datuk Jahid Jahim.
In what is seen as a “hint to contest”, PBS Tuaran yesterday kicked off its preparations for the GE15 by holding a combined meeting of the four divisions, comprising Kiulu, Tamparuli, Sulaman and Dalit.
However, attendance had to be limited to abide by the standard operating procedures (SOPs), and only the top leaders in their respective divisions attended the meeting.
The meeting, held at the Kiulu PBS Division Office, was chaired by Jahid.
According to Jahid, the meeting was aimed at organising the election machinery at the Tuaran Parliamentary level.
“This includes the establishment of a committee that will discuss the details of the preparations for the next parliamentary election,” he said.
Also present were PBS Secretary-General, who is also Kiulu Assemblyman, Datuk Joniston Bangkuai, Political Secretary to the Sabah Minister of Rural Development, Jilias Lintar, and several top leaders at the central level and the party’s four divisions.