KOTA KINABALU, Sept 13 — After persistent rumours that he would be standing in the state polls, former chief justice Tan Sri Richard Malanjum has backed a government-aligned Upko candidate in Kota Belud this weekend.
The former highest-ranking judge in the country launched yesterday the Upko election machinery in Kadamaian, a constituency in the Kota Belud district here, and gave a speech in support of the Parti Warisan Sabah-led government.
“During this campaign period, we must remember that many parties are claiming that they are fighting for Sabah’s rights. But are they really sincere?
“We want local parties who are sincere in their struggle for restoring Sabah’s rights, not those parties who are nominating themselves to create another ‘backdoor’ to allow Umno to once again enter Sabah to control us. Be careful of that,” he was quoted as saying by The Borneo Post.
Malanjum, who retired last year after 28 years in the judicial service, was the subject of intense speculation that he would be contesting either the Bingkor or Moyog seat.
But seat allocations put Warisan deputy president Datuk Darrell Leiking in the Moyog seat, after negotiations for Warisan to contest the Inanam seat, initially targeted by Leiking, failed.
Malanjum is viewed as a staunch supporter of the Warisan government and chief minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, most recently having supplied and donated many Covid-19 test kits, antigen kits and medical equipment to the state health authorities.
At the launch ceremony yesterday, after nominations, Malanjum said that the Warisan Plus government was the one to vote for if the state wanted to restore its wealth, increase its oil royalties and get native land titles that had been delayed for many decades.
Upko is fielding Kadamaian incumbent Datuk Ewon Benedick, who is also the former Sabah rural development minister, in the seat.