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Lujnah Penerangan Dewan Pemuda PAS Sabah. 
 No. 10, Lorong 14, Kg. Sembulan 
88100 Kota Kinabalu Sabah.  

Parties start lobbying for Sabah seats 
By Ruben Sario  

KOTA KINABALU: With state elections required to be called in 10 months by April next year, Sabah Barisan Nasional parties have begun lobbying for seats. 

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Umno have said that they were looking forward to four, five and 25 seats respectively. 

The other Barisan parties have yet to openly say how many of the 48 constituencies they intend to contest. 

However, Barisan officials said the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS), Parti Akar and MCA are looking at at least eight, 14, four and two seats each. 

All nine component party leaders agree that the final allocation of seats would be left to the Barisan leadership. 

In the current 48-elected-seat legislative assembly, which has provisions for six nominated assemblymen, Umno holds 23 seats, PDS (11), SAPP (six), Akar (three), PBRS (two) and MCA (one), with LDP, Gerakan and MIC having no seats. 

Barisan won only 23 of the 48 seats seats in the February 1994 election but managed to form the government a month later following the collapse of the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) government after massive defections of  its assemblymen. 

PBS, which won 25 seats in that election, now holds only seven seats. 

There is one independent in the assembly. The first party to indicate to the local media how many seats they expected 
in the elections was LDP, whose president Senator Datuk Chong Kah Kiat, stated three days ago that he intends to contest in Kudat. 

Chong said that LDP would request for at least four 
predominantly-Chinese seats. 

In the 1994 state election the Kudat seat was won by former LDP deputy president Datuk Kong Hong Ming, who joined the opposition PBS last year after resigning from Gerakan and as state Social Services Minister. 

Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Karim Ghani stated that the party should be allowed to field candidates in at least 27 Muslim-dominated constituencies. 

Karim said in the last state elections, Umno won 18 of the 31 seats allocated to it and that was before the new delineation of electoral boundaries. 

Yesterday, PBRS deputy president Laimun Laikim said in a statement the party would request for at least five seats in the interior of the state. 

 "We are confident of winning all the seats allocated to us under Barisan," said Laimun, whose party holds the Murut-majority Sook and Nabawan seats. 

Other Sabah Barisan leaders have yet to come out and say how many seats they would request in the coming state elections, where PBS and Parti Bersekutu Sabah have said that they would contest all 48 seats.