The smallest politicial party in Sabah, LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) formerly headed by former Chief Minister Chong Kah Kiat has fielded all four new faces. The biggest surprise was that of incumbent Liew Yun Fah, the assemblyman for Merotai, who was dropped in favour of a newcomer.Liew who is very popular with the electorates in Merotai is expected to stand as independent against the LDP choice. Due to his popularity, many has given him an edge over his opponent, if he takes up the challenge.
As reported in the Daily Express:
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Contest as loners?
Keningau: The State Barisan Nasional faces the prospect of dropped incumbents contesting the 12th general election on March 8 as Independents.
At least two have so far hinted they would consider such alternative as an act of retaliation against their respective party presidents over their exclusions.
Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Liew Yun Fah arrived to a rousing welcome by some 2,000 supporters at the Tawau Airport, Friday.
The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) leadership had earlier dropped him from the party candidates' list for the Merotai state constituency which he won in 2004.
He had barely warmed his seat as Youth and Sports Minister several months ago. LDP President Datuk VK Liew had announced party secretary Pang Yuk Ming for the seat, instead.
While declining to specifically reveal his next cause of action, Liew said that in the event he decides to contest as an Independent, it would not mean that he would be against the Barisan Nasional, "but against any outsider trying their luck in Merotai".
Liew said he was still toying with the idea and that his fortune would depend on the wisdom of the electorates in the area.
He regretted at not being aware of the decision to drop him from the fray, contrary to a statement by VK Liew.
While stressing that he had nothing to lose for having been dropped, he regretted that the party seemingly does not appreciate the level of support accorded by the electorates in the Merotai area.
Supporters turning up at the airport displayed banners expressing their support for Liew as their elected representative. Balung candidate Datuk Syed Abbas Syed Ali, Nilwan Kabang (Kunak) and Datuk Haji Harman Haji Mohd (Sulabayan) arriving at the same time at the airport, were also given a rousing welcome by their respective supporters.
In Keningau, Pensiangan Parliamentary incumbent Datuk Bernard S Maraat declared his stand to contest both the Pensiangan Parliament and Sook State seats as an independent candidate.
Bernard, who is also Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) Secretary-General, told supporters gathered at his Taman Jutaya residence, Friday, that he would be relinquishing all positions in the party and the Government.
As speculated, the PBRS list showed party President Tan Sri Joseph Kurup contesting the Pensiangan seat, while Deputy Datuk Ellron Alfred Angin has been allocated the Sook seat. Both constituencies were secured by PBRS in the 2004 general election.
Friday's gathering included 50 local community leaders, comprising village heads and native chiefs. Bernard pointed out that his winning the Pensiangan seat in 2004 was the result of solid support from the BN component parties, his supporters and family members.
In Kinabatangan, parliamentary incumbent Datuk Bung Moktar Radin warned that the BN would not hesitate to take stern action against any BN or Umno leaders contesting as independents.
They would be dubbed as traitors acting contrary to the struggle of the coalition and party, he said.
Bung Moktar, who is Kinabatangan Umno chief, urged all members of the BN component parties, including Umno, to accept the decision of the BN leadership in the choice of candidates.
Foremost on their minds would be to ensure a convincing electoral victory for the coalition, he said.