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STAR eyes at least 20 parliamentary seats

Local opposition Sabah State Reform Party is set to field
teachers, civil servants, pensioners and pastors in
the coming 13th general elections.
By Luke Rintod of FMT
KOTA BELUD: Some 80% of the Sabah State Reform Party (Star) candidates in the 13th general elections will be “fresh faces”. And according to its secretary Guande Kohoi these candidates although first timers are “highly qualified.”
“Expect between 80 to 90 percent of our candidates to be fresh faces. They are educated, professionals and though many are first-timers, they are highly qualified and very passionate about our Borneo Agenda and visions for Sabah,” he told FMT yesterday. .
Kohoi said STAR is looking at contesting more than half of the 60 state assembly seats and about 15 to 20 of the 25 parliamentary seats where the party believes it has strength or advantage over other opposition parties.
“We are looking at a number where STAR could form a state government. Our candidates have been working on the ground and we believe we have a fair chance,” he said..
Pressed for more information, Kohoi said STAR candidates would include scores of teachers who had either resigned or are resigning from their posts.
So far it is learnt that three graduate teachers have resigned to contest under STAR ticket. They are Maklin Masiau, who is poised to contest in poverty-stricken Pitas, a state assembly seat in northern Sabah, Fedrin Tuliang, for Paginatan in Ranau and STAR Youth chief Hasmin Azroy Abdullah for the Tenom parliamentary seat.
Other teachers on STAR list are Jalibin Paidi, possibly for the Keranaan state seat in Ranau, Pinus Gondili for state seat Labuk, Kustin Ladi for Sook and Cyril Palantis for in the Kinabatangan parliamentary constituency.
STAR is likely to field a few women candidates too, led by its women’s wing chief, Melanie Annol, a former banker. She is poised to stand for the Penampang parliamentary seat.
The party is also likely to field some  civil servants, pensioners as well as pastors of protestant churches.
Its state chairman Jeffrey Kitingan meanwhile is set to stand in Bingkor state seat and either Keningau or the adjacent Pensiangan parliamentary seat.
Its senior deputy state chairman, Daniel John Jambun, is set to give it another try to capture the Inanam state seat which he contested under PKR in 2008 where he garnered over 4,000 votes against eventual winner Johny Goh of PBS-BN who garnered more than 5,000 votes.
A DAP candidate finished third garnering more than 2,000 votes.

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