KUALA LUMPUR, August 5 — Umno has failed to understand Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia’s strength in Sabah, Senator Wan Ahmad Fayhsal Wan Ahmad Kamal has reportedly said amid the ruling coalition’s seat tussle in the upcoming state election.
The deputy youth and sports minister also claimed Sabah Bersatu is “a major bloc” in Malaysian politics and has the right to make its place before starting further discussions with the central leadership and its allies.
“We have 500 branches and about 25 divisions in Sabah, and thousands of members. In fact, it is the largest group throughout Malaysia.
“So, definitely the popularity of Bersatu in Sabah is quite big and it’s a force to be reckoned with,” he was quoted as saying by Malaysiakini.
He also stressed that the party was ready to negotiate with all parties in the state, including Umno, in the hope of arriving at a consensus in which they would only face Parti Warisan Sabah as an opponent instead of each other.
Earlier this week, Wan Fayhsal had chastised Umno information chief Shahril Sufian Hamdan after the latter dismissed the former’s party’s ambition to contest 45 seats in the Sabah state election.
Previously, Shahril had told Bersatu “not to dream” after its Sabah chapter chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said the party aims to contest in 45 seats during the state election.
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa had since said that if Bersatu wishes for straight fights with ruling Parti Warisan Sabah, it must concede the seats to the “stronger party”, but stopped short of naming the latter party.
On July 30, Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal announced the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly to pave the way for a state election, which has to be held within 60 days.
The announcement was made after Tan Sri Musa Aman announced that he had secured the support of enough lawmakers to represent a simple majority in the state assembly and could consequently take over the state administration.
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