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Star expects crossovers
Published on: Wednesday, November 07, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (Star) is expecting a number of crossovers of state assemblymen and their supporters from several political parties to its fold.

Party President Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (pic) said the first two who are confirmed joining are Sook Assemblyman Datuk Ellron Angin of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and former Upko Vice President cum Nabawan Assemblyman Datuk Bobbey Suan.

He said the party expects to welcome them on board soon.

Dr Jeffrey told delegates attending the party's Emergency General Meeting (EGM) on Tuesday that he expects the number of Star's state assemblymen to increase from two to four or five in a month's time.

The party currently has two state assemblymen - Dr Jeffrey himself (Tambunan) and Robert Tawik (Bingkor). Dr Jeffrey is also Keningau Member of Parliament.

"It is possible the number of crossovers will be more. There are talks that Sukau Assemblyman Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman who has quit Umno, Sugut Assemblyman Datuk James Ratib who had joined Upko from Umno and Datuk Masiung Banah, the Kuamut Assemblyman from Upko, will also join," he said.

Talks about crossovers of state assemblymen to Star have actually been going on since June this year, after the May 9 14th general election, when Dr Jeffrey had reportedly said six were expected to join the party.


It was in anticipation of the crossovers that the EGM was held to amend the party constitution to expand the size of the party's Supreme Council from 29 to 39 members.

"We also decided to add new posts such as assistants to the information chief and secretary. These additions will trickle down to the divisions and branches.

"We need to do this so that we can serve our members better. We also decided to make few changes to our logo and flag to better represent our identity as a Sabah local party," said Dr Jeffrey.

The party also wanted to amend its acronym from STAR to STARSABAH.

"Basically our numbers are growing, so we want to accommodate the changing political situation, especially leaders (who will be) coming in and their supporters. We must give room.

"There has been interest and enquiries from Upko, Parti Harapan (Rakyat Sabah), Umno and Warisan. Also among the Chinese community from Sandakan, Tawau, Likas, Luyang," he told a press conference after the meeting.


When asked if the timing of the EGM had anything to do with today's (Nov 7) court decision on Sabah's rightful Chief Minister, Dr Jeffrey, the Sabah opposition leader, said the party had planned the expansion of its Supreme Council lineup and divisional committees for some time.

He, however, admitted that the amendment made to the party's flag and logo is also in anticipation of a possible snap election after the court ruling.

He said if it happened, although the possibility is small, Star's logo can be used as a common symbol by Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) parties.

To a question whether former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman's corruption charges would affect the court decision, Dr Jeffrey said he did not think so.

"Musa has been charged but not convicted or disqualified. We see (the corruption charges against him) as merely a political distraction.

"If he wins, he will be the Chief Minister. Of course, he will still have to handle his case (corruption charges) and make plans for the transition of government," he said.


He also said GBS is ready to take over from the Warisan-led state government.

"We hope and pray there will be a smooth transition. That's why we meet leaders at the federal level to ensure we have an understanding," he added. - Leonard Alaza

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