Salleh – the inevitable BN candidate for Kota Belud in GE15

KOTA KINABALU: After four years of being on a low-profile mode, Datuk Seri Dr Salleh Said Keruak is ready to reclaim his reputation as one of Sabah’s political stalwarts.


With the 15th general election (GE15) just round the corner, the political grapevine is abuzz with talk that Salleh is the inevitable Barisan Nasional candidate for the Kota Belud Parliamentary seat that he once held for three terms until 2004.

Even the popular news portal FMT reported that Salleh, whom it described as the “Prince of Usukan” is BN’s best bet to wrest the Kota Belud over other potential candidates.

According to FMT, BN will bolster the odds of wresting the Kota Belud parliamentary seat in Sabah from Warisan by fielding an influential local “prince” for the general election.

An analyst Oh Ei Sun of the Singapore Institute of International Affairs was quoted as saying that a “local boy” like former federal minister Salleh Said Keruak had better prospects of securing the seat than Umno Supreme Council member Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

“After Warisan won Kota Belud in GE14, the seat became a toss-up. BN would need all sorts of advantages, including having a native son as candidate, to win it back,” Oh told FMT.

He said it was vital for BN to regain Kota Belud as this would deny Warisan an important foothold in the state’s west coast.

Kota Belud’s MP is Isnaraissah Munirah Majilis of Warisan, who beat Salleh by 4,262 votes in the 2018 general election. In the 2013 election, Isnaraissah, then running on a PKR ticket, had lost to Rahman.

Salleh, who was Sabah chief minister from late 1994 to mid-1996, is now assemblyman for Usukun.

BN won two seats and Bersatu won one out of the total four state seats in Kota Belud in the state elections through Salleh (Umno) in Usukan, Arsad Bistari (Umno) in Tempasuk and Fairuz Renddan (Bersatu) in Pintasan. Ewon Benedick of Upko took Kadamaian.

Source – FMT

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