KOTA KINABALU: In response to PBS’ intention to reclaim it’s so-called “traditional bases”, i.e. Keningau parliamentary seat and Tambunan state seat, Star has made its stand to continue defending the two seats in future elections to give the voters the right to decide for themselves.
On Saturday PBS’s President, Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili voiced out this intention to his party members at the Tambunan division annual general meeting.
STAR Secretary General, Datuk Senator Guandee Kohoi said in response to PBS, said that Star understands PBS’ fond desire to reverse history, but it would be very unfair to Star to expect it to handover its strongest Interior seats.
“What is more unkind of PBS is the fact the two seats are now in the strong care of the Star President, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan who is enjoying tremendous support in those constituencies,” Kohoi said. “So whatever was expressed by the PBS president, we take as a friendly expression which must be treated as such.”
Kohoi, who is also the federal Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture, said it must be remembered that Star has won P180 Keingau and Tambunan assembly seat under StarSabah symbol in the GE14 in 2018.
“It was not an easy win as we had to work really hard being in the opposition at that time,” he said. “During the state election in 2020 we won again in N.39 Tambunan after the seat was allocated to Star with the agreement by Gabungan Rakyat Sabah. Contesting under the Perikatan Nasional symbol, Stars won very comfortablely by more thn 6,000 vote majority. It was a veritable victory and not a mere fluke.”
“For the knowledge of those who had not known it, there was a sincere effort to merge STAR and PBS recently with the intention for the two to become a single party to be called Star Bersatu,” Kohoi revealed. “The team from PBS comprised Datuk Ellron Angina, Edward Linggu and myself, while those rom PBS were Datuk Jahid Jahim and Datuk Joniston Bongkuai.
“Unfortunately despite several meetings were held, discussions hit a snag because PBS was not very positive and accommodating in its attitude,” Kohoi addd. “It was probably due to the perception that Star was still a small struggling party at that time. But believe it or not, Star is still open for a revival of the discussion for the sake of unity.”
Kohoi assured that Star regards PBS as a close ally and partner in the GRS with whom we will cooperate for GRS victory in future elections.