Bung Depends On Family To Defend His Fort While He Tours State
SABAH POLLS | Sabah BN chief Bung Moktar Radin may be currently touring the state to campaign for BN and PN candidates, leaving his campaign for the Lamag seat, which may come with a chief ministership, to his kin.
The Lamag constituency is located in Sabah's east coast, south of Sandakan, while Bung's schedule for the past few days has been for the bitterly fought west coast constituencies.
But in sleepy Kinabatangan town, which is surrounded by forests and oil palm estates, campaigning activities here for the 8,236 voters take a more personal approach.
For instance, Bung's campaign headquarters is the home of his elder brother Md Munkim Radin (photo, above). This is a large property in bright primary colours draped in BN flags, and Bung's posters are located along Jalan Sandakan-Lahad Datu and are very hard to miss.
Today, the main agenda for the campaign headquarters was to welcome a group of vote canvassers from the Kuala Krau Umno division who are led by the Kuala Krau MP and Deputy Home Minister Ismail Mohamed Said (below).
Addressing the crowd, Ismail paid tribute to Bung's younger sister Sapariah Radin, who is the Kinabatangan Umno Women vice-chief and lives just a stone's throw away.
While Munkim is in charge of campaign strategy, Sapariah has been charged with organising the campaign for the Kota Kinabatangan voting district - the largest of the six voting districts for Lamag.
"She (Sapariah) has been described as the anchor, that's how important she is," said Ismail in his address during the short ceremony.
Munkim told Malaysiakini that there were no problems campaigning without the candidate because the majority of Lamag's voters, mostly from the Orang Sungai tribe, were very familiar with Bung because he was one of their own and also five-term Kinabatangan MP.
Hence, he said supporters understood Bung has other duties as the Sabah BN chief and must join the campaign elsewhere.
"So for us here, we are okay because we can carry out the responsibility of ensuring Bung's victory, no problems," he said.
Despite Bung's reputation outside of Kinabatangan for having an abrasive personality, Munkim said he is well-liked in the area and is always surrounded by supporters.
"There are some who might be uncomfortable when Bung does his rounds here because loyal supporters always surround him.
"Sometimes, it is difficult for others to get close to him," said Munkim, underscoring how a personal touch was important in rural politics.
Lamag is a vast constituency covering 2,142 square kilometres, with half the average number of voters for state constituencies in Sabah. Bung is not expected to visit the constituency until the final few days of the campaign.
Bung will be facing Warisan's Mohd Ismail Ayob, Sairin Abdul Rahman (Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah), Razman Mayah (Parti Cinta Sabah) and Independent candidate Junny @ Karuak Abdullah. - Mkini
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