KOTA KINABALU: One of the hottest Kadazan-Dusun seats is seeing a tug of war after a Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) division chief resigned and joined Sabah STAR in protest as the Sept 26 polls draws closer.
It is believed that Datuk Dr Othman Minuddin and several others left PBS for Sabah STAR following a dispute over the Paginatan seat.
Their departure was announced on Sabah STAR president Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan’s Facebook page on Monday (Sept 15).
In the pictures posted, the Sabah STAR president was seen warmly accepting Othman and a few others, believed to be division members, at an event.
The Paginatan state seat is currently seeing a nine-way fight, where Opposition allies such as Barisan Nasional, PBS and Sabah STAR are set to clash with each other.
A statement issued by PBS Paginatan division vice-chief Faustian Thomas on Tuesday (Sept 15), claimed that Othman and others left the party for Sabah STAR because they wanted division deputy chief Juis Konsuling to contest Paginatan.
PBS fielded its supreme council member Arthur Sen to contest in Paginatan.
Faustian said during an unspecified meeting, Othman had said that the division would support any decision made by the party’s top leadership.
“In fact, our intention was also made public through an Aug 25 statement and in speeches made during gatherings with grassroots.
“So it was actually shocking that he U-turned from the decision made earlier, and worse, ditched PBS for another party, ” he said.
Faustian also said PBS’ machinery in Paginatan would not be affected by the departure of Othman and others.
“It is business as usual, and we will continue to campaign for our candidate and ensure victory for PBS, ” he said.
"We will also be meeting with the top leadership soon to discuss the next course of action against those who left the party, ” he added.
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