KOTA KINABALU, Feb 29 — PKR strategic communications director Fahmi Fadzil today said that Keningau MP Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is now supporting Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad as prime minister.

The Sabahan opposition political leader was previously believed to be part of the group that would support Barisan Nasional but this is not the case according to Fahmi.

“Keadilan and Pakatan Harapan thanks YB Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan who has openly stated his support for @chedetofficial as his choice for Prime Minister,” he said on his Twitter account.

Responding to enquiries from Malay Mail, Kitingan verified that he was supporting Dr Mahathir to be the prime minister.

“Yes, it is,” he told Malay Mail.

Kitingan said the “first time” he had supported Dr Mahathir as prime minister was when he went to Istana Negara for the Yang di-Pertuan Agong’s one-on-one interviews with MPs, confirming that today was the second time he was expressing his support for Dr Mahathir.

“Two times now. One with the Agong, one today,” he said, adding that the statutory declaration that he signed today backing Dr Mahathir was collected from him by PKR.

When asked if his party STAR was joining PH, he said: “STAR — I don’t know about PH but I’m supporting PM Dr Mahathir... I’m supporting the elected government.”

This is the first time that Kitingan has made public his stand regarding who he supports as prime minister.

Kitingan, who is the sole MP from the Sabah based Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku (STAR), was earlier photographed with the rival Prime Minister candidate Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and other leaders from Umno and Pas, Datuk Seri Azmin Ali and PBRS’s Pensiangan MP Arthur Kurup.

If Kitingan supports Dr Mahathir, the latter will have 106 MPs behind him, while Muhyiddin will have 95.

The first candidate to reach the number 112 will have the majority in the 222 members lower house.

Sarawak bloc Gabungan Parti Sarawak has yet to reveal their choice.