KOTA KINABALU : A Silam Umno Committee Member has openly questioned the party leadership's choice for the Lahad Datu State seat, alleging that none other than the Umno Disciplinary Committee had found him guilty of involvement in money politics in the party divisional elections.
Mahil Kamaruddin further alleged that Datuk Yusof Apdal was even suspended three years for the misdemeanour.
"But now the Umno leadership not only insult the people in the district that there is no one qualified but have to import someone whose has a record that will leave Umno open to attack by the opposition," said Mahil.
"As natives of Lahad Datu, we object to this decision and feel very hurt. It is an insult to the people in the district. It is as if there is none more capable or eligible to be chosen as candidate," he said.
According to Mahil, it also smacked of crony politics with the aim of eventually changing the political landscape in Lahad Datu.
"This is not football where we need an import from Semporna to be given a seat in Lahad Datu. It is ridiculous.
Semporna have the same seats with Lahad Datu which comprise one parliament and three State Assembly seats and Yusof should have been instead fielded in Sulabayan replacing Datuk Harman and not choosing Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, who also happens to be the political secretary of Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, his brother.
"Lahad Datu is a developed district with various incomes sources such as through palm oil, the setting up Palm Oil Industrial Cluster (POIC) and Eastern Sabah Security Command (ESSCOM)," he said. Hence, he said.
"We hope the leadership will heed our plea and take serious consideration on this matter as there is still a time to change the choice before it is too late," he added. (DE)