KOTA KINABALU April 17, 2012: The State Reform Party (STAR) may contest in all 60 state assembly seats and 25 parliamentary seats in Sabah, said its Sabah chapter chairman, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, here yesterday.
He said this after a briefing by the State Election Commission (EC) on new election rules to STAR and protem USNO leaders at the EC office at the Federal Secretariat in Likas.
STAR was represented by about 20 of its senior leaders led by Dr Jeffrey while the Sabah EC by its state director, Datuk Idrus Ismail, while USNO was led by deputy president Abdullah Sani Salleh.
Dr Jeffrey also said after the meeting that by contesting in all seats, it would be a referendum to seek views of Sabahans whether they continued to want to be “colonised” and “hegemonised” by outsiders or they want to take charge of their own fate and determine the future of Sabah and its people.
“Let this be a referendum…” he said, adding that insinuations of STAR could not contest in Sabah should not arise anymore with the meeting with EC yesterday and the fact that the Sarawak-based party had in the past put up a candidate in Marudu, Sabah.
Dr Jeffrey, who is also chairman of the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) that already groups STAR and USNO, also said that while STAR respects co-operation with any political parties, it would not sell its soul or compromise its Borneo Agenda.
“Personal agenda is not our agenda. Our agenda is Borneo Agenda,” he said referring to the seven-point Borneo Agenda that is now considered by the general public to contain 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 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 layout 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 the polling stations on that day.
Others at the meeting 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.