KOTA KINABALU: A group of Sabahans, who are denouncing Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan's decision to throw his support behind Sabah Barisan Nasional, converged in front of Padang Merdeka here.
Following Dr Jeffrey's declaration of support, Sabah Barisan is claiming it has got the simple majority of 31 seats and caretaker Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman is asking to be sworn in immediately.
Dr Jeffrey is president of Sabah STAR, which has two seats, and has pledged support for Sabah Barisan.
Meanwhile five assemblyman with Upko stayed put with Musa, minutes after Upko acting president Datuk Wilfred Tangau announced the party was leaving Barisan.
Many Sabahans have voiced their discontent with Dr Jeffrey, with many branding him a 'traitor'.
Sabah artist Yee I-Lann claimed Dr Jeffrey, who is the Keningau MP and Tambunan assemblyman, had betrayed not only his voters, but also all Sabahans.
"Of all people, he should know and understand better the Sabahan sentiment. What he did made us lose faith in our leaders.
"He betrayed the people and it's going to happen over and over again until we stand up to despicable leaders," she said at the gathering on Thursday.
The crowd attracted the attention of passers-by and motorists who showed their support for the group by honking their horns.
A motorist even stopped briefly to deliver free supplies of water.
Several members of the police's Light Strike Force (LSF) were seen guarding the cordoned entrance to Padang Merdeka, which is also located near Istana Negeri.
It is believed that Musa will be arriving at the Istana at about 8pm to be sworn in as Chief Minister.
Earlier, Dr Jeffrey said he was "not joining" Barisan but was "supporting" and forging a coalition between Sabah STAR and Barisan as he felt Sabah Barisan was the best option for Sabah.
“We decided for the sake of Sabah to work with Sabah Barisan as it is a localised party unlike the other option which has to deal with many non-Sabah parties,” he added.
One day before the election, Dr Jeffrey said voting for Sabah STAR and local opposition coalition Gabungan Sabah (GS) will "benefit Sabahans and topple the Barisan Nasional government." (see link below).
Dr Jeffrey then claimed that, just like PKR and DAP, he also wanted to change the federal and state government.