LAHAD DATU : Lahad Datu Barisan Nasional candidate Datuk Yusof Apdal denied criticisms that he is an outsider who had parachuted into the area to continue a political dynasty.
"I am a member of Silam Umno and started my political career in Silam in 1990 under which Kunak, Lahad Datu and Semporna are constituencies.
"I joined Umno and held several positions including Silam Umno division chief and Umno Youths committee. Therefore, I actually do not understand why some parties claim I am an outsider," he said, adding that the people in Lahad Datu also recognised him.
There were boos when Yusof's name was announced as candidate at the Umno headquarters on Monday night.
He is the brother of Federal Minister Datuk Shafie Apdal who is defending his Parliament seat in the coming State elections.
Yusof said he had been through four elections and although not chosen, never failed to assist candidates to win.
He was grateful to have been chosen and thanked the leadership for their faith in him. Yusof said his main agenda is to take care of the people, not only in the economic terms, but also their safety.
He was grateful for the immediate action taken by the Government in setting up the Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM) following the intrusion by Filipino militants loyal to a so-called Sulu Sultan in February in which 72 people died, including 10 Malaysian security personnel.
"I will strive to gain support from the community and make sure that people are united in supporting Barisan Nasional.
"I promise to work hard in carrying my responsibilities and deliver the expectations of the leadership and the people who have choose me to take this responsibility," he said. (DE)