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Jeffrey’s party to contest most constituencies

By Luke Rintod of FMT
KOTA KINABALU: Local opposition State Reform Party (STAR) is likely to contest in 40 of the 60 state seats and in 16 of the 25 parliamentary constituencies in the coming general elections.

STAR Sabah deputy chairman, Daniel John Jambun, in a statement here on Friday evening said the party leadership under Jeffrey Kitingan had decided on this and that the party will introduce all its candidates ahead of the polls.
Jambun said except for a few seats, almost all candidates have been selected, and that most of them are fresh faces with a singular vision of seeing Sabah reclaiming its former glory as an independent nation “within the ambit of all the safeguards and assurances that preceded the federation”.

“We have come to this number after carefully examining the strength of all parties and the requests and support from the grassroots. And we are making this known now publicly as we wish for the people to participate in our growth and vision,” he said.

Jambun said out of the 40 state seats, 23 are focus areas or “kawasan tumpuan” where the party would put everything it could to ensure a comfortable majority.

“Out of the 16 MP seats we intend to contest, we identified eight as “kawasan tumpuan” and these are Kota Marudu, Kota Belud, Penampang, Ranau, Keningau, Tenom, Pensiangan and Beluran.

“The focus state seats are Pitas, Matunggung, Tandek, Tempasuk, Kedamaian, Tamparuli, Kiulu, Inanam, Kepayan, Moyog, Kundasang, Keranaan, Paginatan, Tambunan, Bingkor, Liawan, Melalap, Kemabong, Sook, Nabawan, Sugut, Labuk and Kuamut,” Jambun revealed.

He said this however did not mean STAR was not working on other areas, but that it has a case-to-case strategy in those seats, for instance in a strategic state seat like Pantai Manis in Papar.

“For now this is good for STAR. The party would however respond to emerging new challenges or equation and as we move ahead with our growth we shall listen to the voices and aspiration of Sabahans which would be our guiding light in putting up our candidates for them,” he added.

Asked to elaborate, Jambun said the decision was taken some time ago taking into consideration difficulty in arriving at a compromise with other opposition parties.

The Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and the national Pakatan Rakyat coalition are also eyeing most of the constituencies named by Jambun.

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