STAR wants a referendum from Sabahans

By Luke Rintod

KOTA KINABALU : The State Reform Party (STAR) may contest in all 60 state assembly seats and 25 MP seats in Sabah, said its Sabah chapter chairman, Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, after meeting with the state Election Commission (EC) here yesterday.

Kitingan said that contesting in all seats would be akin to seeking a referendum from Sabahans as to their views on whether they continued to want to be “colonised” and “hegemonised” by outsiders or they want to determine their own fate and future.

“Let this be a referendum…” Kitingan said.

Kitingan had led 20 senior leaders of STAR and members of United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) including its deputy president Abdullah Sani Salleh to a briefing by the EC state director Idrus Ismail on new election rules at its office at the Federal Secretariat in Likas.

He said the meeting with the EC should put to rest insinuations that STAR could not contest in Sabah. He said the party had in the past put up a candidate in Marudu, Sabah.

Kitingan, who is also chairman of the United Borneo Alliance (UBA), said that while STAR respected co-operation with any political parties, it will not sell its soul or compromise its Borneo Agenda.

Both STAR and Usno are members of UBA.

Referring to the seven-point Borneo Agenda, Kitingan said: “Personal agenda is not our agenda. Our agenda is the Borneo Agenda, which contains the major concerns of bona fide Sabahans.”

The Usno group in attendance had brought up several issues including on protem Usno’s participation in the election and peculiar issues in the east-coast.

Abdulah Sani raised the issue of why the Senallang-based military personnel in Semporna are mostly voting in Bogaya (and not Senallang) as “early voters” or formerly known as postal voters. Idrus pledged to look into it.

Idrus in his briefing among others explained that the EC has cancelled the controversial three-day “cooling period” and also the objection period which normally runs from 10am to 11am after nomination is closed for public to object to any candidacy.

He also revealed that a new lay out of positions of EC staff inside polling stations on polling day has been introduced for the first time so as to enable agents of candidates to have a clearer and comfortable view of what is going on inside a polling station on that day.

Others in the entourage were STAR deputy chairman, Dr Nicholas James Guntobon, secretary Guandee Kohoi, Jalumin Bayogoh, Rubbin Guribah, Edward Linggu, Melanie Annol, Hasmin Azroy Abdullah, Jalibin Paidi, Martin Tommy, Maklin Masiau, and USNO leaders Datu Arifin Datu Abdul Salam, Abdillah Timbasal and two other division heads.

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