KOTA KINABALU, Sept 22 — PBS has decided to withdraw from the Tambunan and Bingkor seats and throw its support behind Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidates from STAR to avoid clashes among Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) allies, said PN secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin.
He said in return, PN-STAR would mobilise its machinery to support the PBS candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api, to increase the chances of their candidates winning.
“There are no more clashes between STAR and PBS in these areas. This will boost our chances of winning; no threats whatsoever, as they are doing this voluntarily and it is a big sacrifice,” he told a press conference here today.
Hamzah, who is Home Minister, said PN and PBS would talk to their supporters to ensure that this truce and cooperation would hold until polling day on Saturday.
Tambunan is seeing a six-cornered fight with PN-STAR being represented by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan and PBS fielding Silverius Bruno, while Bingkor is also witnessing a six-way battle which includes Robert Tawik of PN-STAR and Peter Jino Allion of PBS. Dr Samuil Mopun and Dr Yee Moh Chai are the PBS candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api respectively.
News reports have said that STAR was backing independent candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api.
GRS members PN, Barisan Nasional (BN) and PBS are involved in clashes in 17 of the 73 seats up for grabs in the state election.
Hamzah said the GRS members were actively discussing to neutralise such clashes to avoid splitting votes for the coalition.
“In our bid to take over the (Sabah) government we want to win big, so we hope there would be no clashes…we want to show solidarity to recapture Sabah,” said Hamzah, who is also Bersatu secretary-general.
STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said his party accepted this cooperation and hoped that it would strengthen the coalition and help to topple Warisan.
PBS secretary-general Datuk Jahid Jahim said he had been told by PBS president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili to cease campaigning in Tambunan and Bingkor as well as to help the PN-STAR candidates in these areas.