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Pandikar elected as new Usno president

PENAMPANG (Feb 19): United Sabah National Organisation’s (Usno) old warhorse Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has been appointed as the new president for the party.

He won the post uncontested during Usno’s recent party election for the 2021-2024 term.

Pandikar, a household name in Malaysian politics, served as the vice president for Usno back in 1982. He won the Usukan state seat under Usno’s ticket during that year.

The former Dewan Rakyat Speaker said that the mission and vision of Usno remains the same as what was stated in the party’s constitution.

Elaborating on Usno’s plans for the upcoming general election, Pandikar said that the party is well aware of its ‘super small’ size.

“We know our size. If I could describe our size for now, I would say that we are currently wearing a ‘super small’ size,” he said during the Usno’s press conference, held at the International Technology & Commercial centre (ITCC) here on Friday.

He opined that it is not necessary for Usno to contest in the election.

He said that contesting or winning elections are not the only way a party can contribute.

“For example, SAPP didn’t win any seats in the recent election. However, after the election, its president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee was appointed as a nominated assemblyman,” he said.

When asked about Usno’s current political allegiance, Pandikar said the party is pro-government.

He said Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor’s decision to appoint him as the Special Envoy of the BIMP-EAGA representing the Sabah government proved that Usno and the government are on the same team.

“I was recently appointed as the Special Envoy of the BIMP-EAGA by the Chief Minister. From what I understand, BIMP-EAGA is government body.

“The government certainly wouldn’t appoint someone from the opposition. This doesn’t happen in Malaysia; only happens in Indonesia.

“Therefore, we are of the view that we are pro-government,” he said.

Pandikar added that Usno has submitted its application to join the government coalition but did not specify whether it would be Perikatan Nasional (PN) or Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

Pandikar had also thanked his predecessor, Ibrahim Linggam, for the latter’s service to the party.

He hoped that the party’s new leadership would would attract more people to the party.

Meanwhile, Matbee @ Matbeh Ismail and Datuk Hamzah Sundang won the deputy president and vice president posts respectively, uncontested.

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