KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 8 — With only a few days left before nomination day, Sabah’s Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan has threatened to pull out of the Perikatan Nasional (PN) alliance if his party does not get at least 15 seats to contest.
Astro Awani reported that the Keningau MP was basing his demands on the people’s aspirations to have local parties run Sabah.
“We are confident STAR can win many more seats in this state election and we are ready to contest 15 to 18 seats if given the opportunity.
“But if we are given only six to eight seats, then we might as well run on our own,” he was quoted as saying.
In the PN-friendly alliance, STAR has to share some 24 out of 73 seats that have a majority of non-Muslim natives — colloquially known as KDM which stands for Kadazan Dusun Muruts — with parties like Parti Bersatu Sabah and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.
“The current sentiment is that Malaya-based parties are too domineering and the people are tired of this and don’t want this anymore. That’s why the seat allocation has to be divided fair and square to respect Sabah-based parties,” he said.
He also said that Sabahans wanted the number of BN seats to be fewer than or equal to local parties.
The parties that are contesting this election which are considered PN friendly also include Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, and BN’s Umno, MCA and MIC, while PAS and SAPP are also part of the equation.
In a crowded Opposition, many seats are expected to see at least five-cornered fights.