By Mohd Faizal Hassan and Muhammad Faiz Baharin
KENINGAU, Sept 16 -- Among the 447 candidates vying for the 73 seats in the 16th Sabah state election, the name Matusin takes a special place because it is shared by two contestants in the Tulid constituency.
Former state footballer Matusin Bowie @ Matius of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Matusin Timam, a former assistant medical officer representing Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS), are among the seven candidates in Tulid, one of the 13 new seats.
Matusin Bowie, who represented Sabah in the 1990s, said he is expecting a keen contest, with the candidates offering their respective manifestos to the 8,910 voters in Tulid.
“Yes, I also did not expect a clash of names but that is part of the game. I may be a newcomer but I have been loyal to the party since hanging up my football boots. That’s why I was given the trust to be a candidate,” Matusin Bowie, 50, told Bernama.
“The provision of basic amenities is among the issues we will raise. This is because the people deserve the best in terms of access to and availability of amenities,” said the former civil servant.
On the other hand, Matusin of PCS said the issue of treated water supply and basic infrastructure like roads would be in his manifesto.
He claimed that the authorities had failed to resolve these issues for decades.
“We (PCS) will offer a system of government that is more stable to bring Sabah to greater heights. My hope is that voters especially the younger generation and fence-sitters will make a wise choice that will bring them returns,” said the 56-year-old Matusin.
The other five candidates in Tulid are Dahalan@Ulin Abdullah @ Amil of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Mudi Dubing (Parti Warisan Sabah), Flovia Ng (Perikatan Nasional-STAR), Mohamad Khairy Abdullah (United Sabah National Organisation or Usno), and Suman Yasambun (Parti Bersatu Sabah or PBS).
Usno’s Mohamad Khairy Abdullah has expressed confidence that the clash among allies PN, BN and PBS would work to the advantage of the other candidates.
“The clash among the three allies will make voters lose confidence in their cooperation, leading to a splitting of votes and protest votes among supporters disappointed over the situation.
“Many voters will make us their alternative choice and we just need to work harder to win over the fence-sitters,” said the former journalist.
PN candidate Flovia has been taking the tough campaign rounds in her stride, and could even afford a smile when interviewed late at night after meeting residents of several villages, including in Mailo and Simbuan, about 35 km from Keningau town.
“It’s a new experience for me. Previously, I could go to the market and freely meet up with friends but now I’m accompanied by my team on the ground, campaigning from morning until night.
“The issue of clean water supply, electricity supply and better roads is top of my campaign agenda,” she said.
Early voting is on Sept 22 and polling is on Sept 26.
Malaysian National News Agency
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