KOTA KINABALU, Sept 15 — Hours after Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia supreme council member Datuk Azmin Ali pushed for its Sabah chief Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor as the next Sabah chief minister, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has said that the party with the most number of seats after the state polls conclude will be the one who gets to call the shots.
In Sabah to campaign for Barisan Nasional (BN), Ahmad Zahid reminded his Perikatan Nasional (PN) allies that they had partners who they had to negotiate with.
“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s win 37 seats first, then we can form a government. But remember, the party with the most seats will qualify to be chief minister,” he said.
“If we are lucky enough to win, we will negotiate with the assemblymen, and then only will a new chief minister be chosen,” he said during his campaign speech tonight.
This comes after Malaysiakini quoted Azmin as saying the decision to front Hajiji as the candidate for chief minister was a position shared not just by him, but also Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
When questioned later about Azmin’s statement, Zahid reiterated the importance of securing victory first before a decision is made on who should lead the state.
He then warned BN or PN not to come across as overconfident on the campaign trail.
“The rakyat are evaluating us. If we are overconfident, the rakyat will reject us,” he said.
Meanwhile, PAS deputy president Datuk Seri Tuan Ibrahim Tuan Man, who was also present here in Putatan to stump for BN, said it was the prerogative of Muhyiddin as prime minister to select the next Sabah chief minister.
“Let’s wait until after the elections. PAS will leave it to the prime minister,” he told reporters.
Other names being floated as possible candidates for chief minister include Sabah BN chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, in addition to incumbent and Parti Warisan Sabah president, Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
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