By : LUKE RINTOD
PAPAR: Pakatan Rakyat confirmed today that it will field Ibrahim Menudin for the Federal Territory of Labuan parliamentary seat. This puts to rest claims by PAS and earlier by DAP that it will be contesting the seat.
Pakatan Rakyat leader Anwar Ibrahim made the announcement in his speech at Kampung Kawang, near here today, ending speculations that had caused a rift between coalition members in Labuan.
Ibrahim was at one time a Sabah Umno treasurer. He was also a director of state-owned company Suria Capital Holdings Bhd prior to joining the opposition party.
Labuan has been a subject of rumours for some time as all three Pakatan partners – PKR, DAP and PAS – had openly made known their interest to take on the Barisan Nasional at the coming polls on May 5.
Anwar made no other announcement as to candidates in Sabah.
Many had expected him to also announce Pakatan candidates for the seats around Papar areas, which had also been subject of interest from component party members.
“Please wait [for the announcement]. We will make it in one announcement later…” he said, without giving any indication to when it will be.
But many within PKR had claimed that Anwar could be announcing the list as early as tomorrow where he is scheduled to appear at a party function early morning.
According to insiders, keen tussles among aspiring candidates are still taking place especially within Sabah PKR which has non-party members – Wilfred Bumburing-led APS and Lajim Ukin helmed PPS – as its strong allies.
That could explain why Anwar was reluctant to give clues as to who would get to represent Pakatan in the Papar areas, which, if he did, could either have ended the tussles within or raise further the heat of last-minute lobbying.
There have been talks that former Umno leader, Yahya Lampong, would be the PKR candidate for either Papar parliamentary seat or Kawang state seat.
Consumer activist Patrick Sindu is also keen on the areas.
Sindu was with State Reform Party (STAR) earlier but ditched the party for PKR after accusing the party of being full of “arrogant” leaders.
There is also talk here that lawyer James Ghani would be picked as PKR flag-bearer in Pantai Manis, the other seat that made up Papar parliamentary.
All seats within Papar are held by Umno.
Anwar is also expected to meet party memebrs and supporters in Kampung Sembirai in Kota Belud later today.
Anwar is expected to give a fiery speech at Kampung Sembirai which incidentally is the “birth-place” of Sabah Umno.
Earlier in Papar, former president of now-defunct PASOK, Cleftus Mojingol, handed over his membership application form together with about 100 others of former PASOK members and his supporters.
When contacted by FMT, Mojingol said he was happy to hear Anwar in Papar giving assurance that under a Pakatan government, the 20-Point Agreement and higher oil royalty for Sabah would be respected and implemented. (FMT)