SANDAKAN, Sept 14 — The large number of candidates contesting in the 16th Sabah state election proves that democracy is still alive in the state, Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said.
Hence, he said the allegation made by the Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) chairman Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal that the federal government had “sponsored” smaller parties to split votes as reported by local newspapers today, was just his assumption.
“I consider the democracy is open so I welcome them (the candidates) to contest for they too have the desire to contest, to be a YB (people’s representatives).
“It is okay, we leave it to the people to decide,” he told reporters after attending a meeting with Libaran BN election machinery here today.
Meanwhile the honourary life president of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat claimed that it was Warisan that was splitting the votes, through its political allies, DAP and PKR that were not from Sabah.
Yesterday, Mohd Shafie alleged that Putrajaya set up the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) comprising Perikatan Nasional (PN), BN and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) by “sponsoring” smaller parties in the state election in order to split votes and to topple the Warisan-led state government.
Refuting the allegation made by Angkatan Muda Keadilan (PKR Youth) vice chief Syed Badli Shah Syed Osman that PN had no party registration record with the the Registrar of Societies (RoS), Bung Moktar said that it was not a mistake to field PN candidates to contest in the election.
In a statement today, RoS said PN registration had been approved on August 7. — Bernama