Kitingan expected to meet Warisan defectors, hopes duo will abandon plans to form new party

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah STAR president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan is expected to meet two former Warisan assemblymen in a bid to ask them to abandon their plans to form a new party.

Kitingan said that he expected to meet former Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony and Limbahau assemblyman Datuk Juil Nuatim in Sabah's interior Sook district on Thursday (Dec 30).

Kitingan, who is also the Deputy Chief Minister, however did not specify the purpose or what is expected out of the face-to-face meeting.

“After we extended the invitation to join Sabah STAR, I was contacted by a third party and I expect to meet them both later today,” he said referring to Peter, the Melalap assemblyman and Juil.

Kitingan, however, expressed his hope that Peter will abandon his plans to form a new political party as Sabah currently has too many.

He would prefer Peter and Juil to join one of the established political parties, preferably Sabah STAR.

“However, I don’t believe it would split the votes because they have already said they will support the GRS-led Sabah government. It will not undermine our unity if they are with us.

“One may argue that there are already too many native Kadazandusun and Murut-based parties operating under the GRS banner but at the same time, we are talking to each other.

“This is a transition period and I believe that the next one or two steps later, we will all be under one roof,” he hinted to reporters after attending the Agriculture and Fisheries Ministry Appreciation Ceremony 2020 and 2021 here Thursday.

Peter and Juil quit Warisan on Tuesday (Dec 28) and announced that they were planning to form a new party and join GRS, led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

On Sabah STAR’s GE15 preparation, Kitingan said GRS has already activated its election machinery though no one knows when the polls would take place.

“We don’t know what the scenario in Sabah will be as we have seen in the past, there are many seats in which allies clashed, such as in Melaka and Sarawak.

“I hope that this time around, we will have a clear strategy to ensure a collective victory because we all want political stability,” he said, but declined to reveal how many seats his party would be seeking.

Sabah STAR emerged an influential party in the interior areas of Sabah, winning six state seats in the September 2020 snap polls.

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