KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 13 — Barisan Nasional (BN) leaders played down the latest leap of a senior Sabah politician — the third in a month — from its ranks to the opposition Pakatan Rakyat (PR), saying it had been “expected” and that they were confident of strong voter support for the ruling coalition in the run-up to key national elections.
Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap, a vice-president in BN’s Sabah-based United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO), publicly announced his decision to quit the ruling coalition yesterday before a thousand-strong turnout at his home in Kota Marudu, about 100km away from the state capital of Kota Kinabalu.
“This is something expected but his departure from BN won’t affect the overall strength of BN in Sabah,” Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, told The Malaysian Insider.
“BN in Sabah is intact and I am confident that BN will win with comfortable victory in the coming state general election. Crossovers won’t erode support to BN because people are suspicious of their motive.
“We have many new and young capable leaders who are loyal to BN that can replace BN leaders who left and support Pakatan,” the Sabah Umno deputy chief said in a text message.