Pairin wants seat allocation to be discussed privately
KOTA KINABALU, March 20 — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan (pic) wants the seat allocation issue among state Barisan Nasional (BN) component parties to be discussed in a round table and not openly to ensure that the matter is solved in the spirit of BN. Pairin, who is Deputy Chief Minister, said the seat allocation agreed upon by all state BN component parties in the last election should be made the basis for any discussion on the matter.
“Only the parliamentary and state seats held by Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) (which left the BN in September 2008) which should be discussed among the component parties,” he told reporters after opening the state-level World Water Day Conference, here today.
Pairin was asked to comment on the remark by Penampang Umno division chief Datuk John Ambrose on Sunday that there was a need for the BN to relook into its seat allocation formula.
Ambrose said the BN should do away with the usual practice of re-allocating seats to component parties which had contested them in previous elections, saying that this practice would do more harm than good for the BN because the parties would still be able to recontest regardless of whether they had a winnable candidate or not.
Pairin said: “He is free to express his view but it is better that this issue is discussed in a round table.” On the intentions expressed by several BN component parties to contest the Sepanggar parliamentary seat, Pairin said: “Like other component parties, PBS is also keen to field a candidate for the seat.”
Sepanggar is now held by opposition SAPP. The party left the BN in 2008, causing the BN to lose Tawau and Sepanggar parliamentary seats and two state seats, Likas and Luyang.
Two other seats which were won by SAPP when the party was still a BN member — Elopura and Tanjung Papat — remain in the BN after their assemblymen, Au Kam Wah and Datuk Raymond Tan Shu Kiah, left SAPP and joined Gerakan.