A Sabah NGO - United Suluk Community Organisation (USCO) - has, strangely enough, decided to move into ‘active’ politics.
KUDAT 22/03/2013: Speculation is high that former deputy chief minister under a PBS-plus government, Amir Kahar Mustapha, is about to quit Umno and join an opposition group.
The former Banggi assemblyman, who is the eldest son of ex- Sabah chief minister, the late Tun Mustapha Harun, is said to have been approached by the members of the Suluk community here to represent them in the opposition in the coming election.
Sources said there had been calls for Amir Kahar to stand again in Banggi which is currently represented by Umno’s Mijul Unaini.
“We may join a party soon if everything is alright,” a source said, adding that they preferred a local party as vehicle but have not ruled out a national party.
Sources close to the politician also said that apart from Banggi, four other state seats and one parliamentary constituency in the west coast – Tanjung Kapur, Karambunai, Likas, Tanjung Aru and Sepanggar respectively – are being eyed by those in his circle.
There has also been talk that Amir Kahar had met with State Reform Party (STAR) chairman Jeffrey Kitingan recently.
Amir Kahar could not be reached for comment.
A younger brother of Amir Kahar, Badarudin, who heads Usno club, has already teamed up with Jeffrey under the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) and is likely to stand in one of the east-coast seats on a STAR ticket.
Another Usno leader, Abdullah Sani Mohd Salleh, is likely to stand in the Bugaya state seat which is currently held by Umno’s Ramlee Marahaban.
Suluk group moves in
Meanwhile, a NGO catering for the Suluk community, United Suluk Community Organsition (USCO), has decided to move into ‘active’ politics.
They are to field candidates in Tanjung Kapur, Likas and Tanjung Aru.
Strangely enough, they are also contesting in Murut populated areas such as Nabawan and Pensiangan parliamentary seats.
USCO is also reportedly eyeing the Sandakan parliamentary seat.
USCO president, Bentan Alamin, is slated to stand in Tanjung Aru near Kota Kinabalu.
Speaking in Sandakan recently, Bentan, had said that the decision to participate in the election was made at USCO’s third annual general meeting which called for the body to put up its young leaders as “a starting point for USCO to be in politics”.
Beside Banggi in the northern-most point of Sabah, most of the seats that have a substantial number of Suluk voters are in the east-coast.
These are Lahad Datu, Kunak, Tungku, Sulabayan, Senallang and Silam and Semporna.