Sabah Election: STAR Wounded by PBS Betrayal over Seat Arrangement

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Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) is disappointed that Parti Besatu Sabah (PBS) has reneged on its promise to abide by a seat arrangement aimed at preventing clashes between the two parties in the Sept 26 election.

Its president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is defending the Tambunan constituency, said both parties had agreed to an allocation of 15 seats for PBS, and eight for STAR.

“As a Perikatan Nasional (PN) partner, STAR had discussed with PBS, and we agreed that of the 24 seats allocated for both parties, each should get 12 seats.

“However, they (PBS) wanted to monopolise and got 15 seats, while STAR only received eight seats.

“Furthermore, I am disappointed that the party fielded (even more) candidates in other seats, including Tambunan. This is a sign that the party does not respect its partner, or the agreement reached,” he said at a gathering in Tambunan, yesterday.

PBS on Saturday fielded candidates in 22 seats, contrary to the 15 seats it initially announced on Sept 10.

Apart from Tambunan, PBS and STAR will face each other at Moyog, Paginatan, Bingkor, Liawan, and Tulid.

The party, founded by Jeffrey’s brother Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, will also contest against its Barisan Nasional (BN)-Umno ally in Bengkoka, Lumadan, and Melalap.

PBS will also clash with BN-Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah at Matunggong and Kedamaian.

The polls will also witness a match between PBS and BN-MCA at Luyang and Karamunting.

Jeffrey said STAR will campaign against PBS and other opponents, calling on voters as well as supporters in his constituency to show solidarity to ensure that the STAR candidate wins.

Meanwhile, PBS deputy president Datuk Radin Malleh said conflict was expected, as several of the constituencies are its traditional seats.

He said the party decided to put up a ‘friendly’ match following requests from grassroots supporters. – NST