KOTA KINABALU: The Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia (KDM) is reportedly considering contesting the Kiulu and Tamparuli state seats in the upcoming state elections (PRN), according to a reliable source within the KDM leadership.
Sources within KDM suggest that the party is likely to field candidates for both seats, which are traditionally strongholds of the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), a member of the GRS coalition.
Currently, the Kiulu and Tamparuli state seats are held by Datuk Joniston Bangkuai and Datuk Jahid Jahim respectively.
“If everything goes well, we will contest the Kiulu and Tamparuli state seats. We believe in giving the people of Kiulu and Tamparuli, including the youth, the opportunity to exercise their democratic rights by electing representatives of their choice. We are merely offering the people choices and letting the people decide,” the source informed the Jesselton Times.
Despite being considered an “underdog,” the source said that KDM remains undeterred and is determined to work hard to spring a surprise, similar to the unexpected victory of KDM candidate Datuk Wetrom Bahanda over PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili in the Kota Marudu Parliament during the GE-15.
“It is not going to be easy, but in politics, anything is possible. At the end of the day, the people will have the final say,” the sources said.
Among the potential candidates for the Kiulu state seat is Henry Saimpon, the party’s vice president and a former Sabah soccer player.
Saimpon hails from Bongol village in Kiulu.
The KDM is expected to nominate Dr. Gaim James Lunkapis, the former Associate Professor of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) and Secretary General of the KDM, to contest for the Tamparuli state seat.
It is also understood that the KDM, led by Datuk Peter Anthony, will launch a “roadshow” in the identified state constituencies in the near future to strengthen preparations for the PRN.
However, the news portal Free Malaysia Today (FMT) reported recently that the KDM is adopting a cautious approach despite speculations of joining Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) front in the next Sabah election.
Party sources informed FMT that the KDM is currently assessing strategic collaborations and is confident in its ability to become a ‘kingmaker’ based on its strong presence in the interior regions.
The KDM believes it has a mathematical chance of winning at least seven seats and hopes to win more Kadazan Dusun Murut seats based on the current sentiment.
Previously, Warisan president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal hinted at collaborating with UMNO for the upcoming state election.
Although the term of the Sabah Legislative Assembly will end in October 2025, Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor hinted at the possibility of holding PRN17 earlier this year.