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Sibling rivalry for the Sepangar seat

KOTA KINABALU: Whatever happens, the parliamentary seat of Sepangar may already be a cinch for the Majimbun family.
Brothers Eric and William may face off in the constituency if the ruling coalition gives Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) the task of contesting the parliamentary seat in the coming general election.
PBS headed by Joseph Pairin Kitingan will be fielding William Majimbun, current district chief as well as chief judge of the Kota Kinabalu Native Court, to face elder brother and current MP Eric Majimbun.
William, who is one PBS supreme council member, is confident he will be fielded to contest the seat which Eric won on a Barisan Nasional-Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) ticket in the last three general election.
He became an opposition MP when SAPP pulled out of the national coalition on Sep 17, 2008.
“The BN top leadership has given PBS president the mandate to pick up the party’s candidates in the coming election,” Willam told FMT during a gathering in Kota Kinabalu yesterday.
In the 2008 election, Eric won the seat with a 11,461-vote majority polling 16,884 while Ibrahim Abdullah Yembun of PKR got 5,423 votes and Edward Ewol Muji of DAP garnered 3,709. Sepanggar comprises the two state constituencies of Inanam and Karambunai.
The Majimbun family, whose hometown is Inanam, is a respected household in Kota Kinabalu. Their father, the late Majimbun Majankin was the district (now a city) chief and on his death, the post went to his children, first to John (who died in office) and then Eric who took over when his brother died.
When Eric decided to go into politics, he resigned and the post went to William.
When asked about facing his brother in the election, William said he would abide by his party’s directive but given a choice would prefer another opponent as “it will not be quite comfortable competing against my brother.”
“I hope Eric will go for the Inanam (state) seat,” he said. Inanam is now held by another PBS supreme council member Johnny Goh Chin Lok. Goh who was also at the gathering just smiled.
Goh, who has on several PBS functions told members that this will be his last term as an assemblyman, is also a likely candidate for BN in Sepangar in which case William will be fielded in Inanam and could again face Eric.
Eric when contacted said it was good news for him that his brother would finally be fielded by PBS. William was the first choice for Inanam in the 2008 election but the party backtracked to let Goh defend the seat.
“SAPP can go either way, the MP or state seat or both,” he said.
On talk that he is eying Inanam which would pave the way for him to become a Deputy Chief Minister if SAPP won enough seats to form the state government, Eric said posts are not important.
“What the rakyat want is to be free from the Umno dictatorship and the Kuala Lumpur government. Local Sabahans want to have our own Sabah identity card to differentiate us from those Pakistani, Malay, Indonesian, Filipino who have gained citizenship overnight,” Eric said.
Meanwhile, Umno is also lobbying for its Sepanggar head Jumat Idris to be fielded in the election. However he may not be fielded in Sepangar but rather given the Karambunai state seat now held by Jainab Ahmad.
Another BN component party member United Pasokmomlogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) has also staked a claim for the parliamentary seat and the likely candidate is the party deputy chief for the Sepangar division Albert Bingkasan.

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