KOTA KINABALU, Sept 11 — Facing clashes in eight out of the 15 seats it intends to contest this state polls, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said that the party will just have to contend with “friendly” clashes against its Perikatan Nasional (PN) allies.
Its deputy president Datuk Radin Malleh said that the party had initially tried to resolve the overlaps but there was no compromise among the parties even after a meeting with the Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin this morning.
“Yes I met PM three times and this morning. Each party within the PN briefed PM. The PM is in the know and this morning he was telling us, he advised us, if possible to avoid this clash,” he said during a press conference here today.
“He just said, avoid it. He didn’t say how to avoid it. But some parties really insist on standing, so we cannot do anything. If others wanna field also, we cannot ask them not to contest. We have tried to persuade them already.
“We cannot do anything as this is a democracy,” he added.
Radin said that each party believed that they had strength to stand in those eight seats and win hence the clashes.
PBS is expected to clash with both PN and Barisan Nasional’s component parties.
It will clash with Umno in three seats — Bengkoka, Tanjung Aru and Telupid, with Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah in three seats — Matunggong, Tandek and Kadamaian, and with MCA in two seats — Kapayan and Karamunting.
Under the PN opposition alliance, Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku also clashes with Umno in Paginatan and PBRS in Sook and Tulid.
Radin admitted it was not the ideal situation as the parties are meant to be cooperating under the Perikatan Nasional alliance with the intent to field one candidate and avoid split votes.
“But we feel strongly so we think we will field our own candidates where we think we can win, even if there is a friendly clash. The stronger better party will emerge as victor,” he said.
“This election it is hard to avoid clashes, not just among other parties but even among PN and BN. But don’t worry, there is not that many, only a few,” he said.
Radin said that PBS would however continue to work with other friendly parties in its alliance in areas where there were no clashes.
He however acknowledged the high possibility of internal sabotage in these areas where the clashes occur.
“Of course, it’s like a game of football. The way you manoeuvre yourself and move. But we try not to sabotage each other because our intention is to win the election. We hope for the best,” he said.
There are 73 seats up for grabs in this state election with nomination set for this Saturday while polling is on September 26.