Star hopes indie candidates clashing with PBS will win

Ng Xiang Yi

Modified 25 Sep 2020, 9:12 am

SABAH POLLS | Two independents who are joining Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) are not the party's candidates, insisted party president Jeffrey Kitingan.

However, he hopes the duo, who are clashing with PBS candidates in the state election tomorrow, will win.

Independent candidate in Inanam, Kenny Chua, has been accepted as a Star member, while independent Tandek incumbent Anita Baranting has applied to join the party.

This came after a partial truce was reached between Star and PBS in four seats they are clashing in.

Star, which is contesting under Perikatan Nasional, is supposed to be an ally to PBS under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah umbrella.

Read more: Sabah Decides 2020: Making sense of the players, parties and battles

Asked whether Chua and Anita joining Star was a betrayal of the truce with PBS, Kitingan (above) said it wasn't.

"No, they are still independents. They have joined Star but they are not Star candidates but independents.

"They, however, will have the benefit of support from Star members," he said at a press conference in Tambunan today.

He added this was different from PBS "intruding" on Star seats as Chua and Anita had joined the election as independents.

Accepting their memberships was the right thing to do, Kitingan said, as there was no reason to reject them.

When asked if Chua and Anita would become Star assemblypersons should they win, he said they would become party members regardless of the outcome.

"I hope they win," he added.

Read more: The who's who is the Sabah 2020 election

Meanwhile, Bersatu secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin reiterated that he was surprised by Chua and Anita joining Star.

However, he said he was powerless to get Star and PBS to come to terms, beyond asking them to sit down and discuss the matter.

"I am just the mediator, not the one who decides. Those who should decide are the candidates, it is not for us (to do it for them)," he added.

Malaysiakini is currently providing stories on the Sabah polls for free. Continue to support Malaysiakini and independent journalism by subscribing for as little as RM20 per month.

Follow Malaysiakini's coverage of the Sabah state election here.

Share this story