Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup today said voters in the Pensiangan parliamentary constituency in Sabah are well prepared for a possible by-election, if there is any. He said they already know who they are going to vote.
"As much as I would like not say anything, I am compelled to do so in response to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan's interference over this well prepared PBRS machineries by raising the question of candidature will undoubtedly, to certain extent, weaken this," Kurup said.
Kurup, in a Press statement datelined Putrajaya, Kuala Lumpur, was responding to Pairin's statement which appeared in the local newspapers today.
Speaking to the Press in Kota Kinabalu on Monday (Jan 18), Pairin, who is Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, said there should not be an automatic selection of Barisan Nasional (BN) candidate should a by-election is called for the Pensiangan seat.
Pairin said that although its was normal for BN to give back the seat to component party as was the quota or formula in the March 8, 2008 general elections but that based on the recent Kuala Terengganu by-election result, candidate is an important factor.
In the Kuala Terengganu's by-election BN failed to defend the seat which was won by Opposition PAS.
Asked by the Press if he meant that his PBRS' counterpart, Kurup, should not re-contest in the by-election, Pairin said," No, I am not saying that but candidate is a very important factor."
Pairin said the BN leadership should have to look at the causes of the Kuala Terengganu by-election, which BN lost so as to avoid it from happening in Pensiangan.
Kurup won Pensiangan uncontested in the general election and was appointed Federal Rural and Regional Development Deputy Minister. His victory was declared null and void by a Kota Kinabalu Election Court.
The election petition against Kurup was brought by Parti Keadilan Rakyat's Danny Andipai, whose candidacy was rejected on nomination day, paving the way for Kurup to win the seat without a contest.
Kurup appealed and the Federal Court will sit in Kota Kinabalu on Feb 12 and 13, 2009 to decide on the case.
Kurup further stated that Pairin seemed not to have understood the BN's concept of `sharing' `But here, perhaps he could be excused in view of his colourful and well documented history with the BN.
PBRS and PBS are component members of BN.
"Certainly he does not possess the credibility to assess the suitability of a candidate for Pairin has been the MP for Pensiangan for two terms and his performance record in bringing developments to the people speaks for itself," Kurup said.
He said whenever he go to Sook and Nabawan (two state seats within Pensiangan) people there were saying in no uncertain terms that they had not seen any development in their areas during Pairin's tenure as their MP.