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Pandikar still hopes to contest
Published on: Sunday, April 15, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia has again expressed readiness to return to active politics if fielded as a candidate in the imminent 14th General Election.

The incumbent Parliament Speaker, a post he has held for two successive terms, said there has so far been no indication from the top leadership on this.

"To be honest, there is no such indication, I only express my readiness. As I said, I am ready, if chosen.

But then again since 2008 I was not fielded as a candidate, which is also okay to me," he said after officiating the five-day Pertemuan Iranun Nusantara ceremony at Likas Square here, Saturday.

Pandikar had said he wished to return to active politics last April. He also told the media recently that he would accept a new term as Speaker.


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"Yes, during the Jelajah United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo) last year, I said I am willing to back to active politics, but it is up to the top leadership.

"As an Umno member, the one who determines whether a person is contesting or not is the party president," he said.

He said if nominated to stand for a Parliament or State seat, he will accept it since he is ready both physically and mentally.

"I am not that old I am only 63, compared to opposition leader Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad who is in his 90s, so considerably I am still young, even compared to the chief minister of the day, I am also younger than him," he said.


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When asked what would be his seat preference if nominated, he said, "I do not know, because you see being a person that is picked as a candidate, you will not have a choice because up to the top leadership where to put you."

He, however, did point out his interest in having the experience to be placed anywhere, citing Lim Kit Siang in the peninsula, who is moved from one place to another.

When pressed further if he has his sights on the Usukan State Constituency seat, he said, "I never said that, I just say that whereever I am picked to contest, I will accept, that is a challenge, and if I am not picked to contest, life goes on a usual, that is also a challenge," he said.

Pandikar Amin, a lawyer, once led a party (Parti Bersih) in the early 1980s and was later involved in Parti Akar before a falling out with the party's leaders. He was made a Nominated Assemblyman during the PBS era where he became the State Assembly Speaker.


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Following Umno's expansion to Sabah, he contested in Usukan and won. He was made a Minister in the Prime Minister's Department in the Mahathir administration and was offered the Parliament Speaker post following the 2008 election when the opposition made huge gains.

He is the first Parliament Speaker to introduce reforms such as Question Time for Ministers to explain policies and decisions to MPs. However, one of his decisions to forbid members of the press confronting politicians in the parliament lobby met with disapproval. - Sherell Jeffrey

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