Kitingan eyes fielding Sabah STAR candidate for Lahad Datu's Tungku seat

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah STAR, a Gabungan Rakyat Sabah component, is eyeing the Muslim-majority state seat of Tungku in Lahad Datu that is held by the opposition Parti Warisan.

Sabah STAR president Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that the party's strength in the area was improving and growing, and as such, the party was looking at the possibility of fielding a candidate for the seat.

Kitingan, whose Sabah STAR is mainly a non-Muslim native-based party, is eyeing the Tungku state seat in the next state election due anytime before September next year.

Kitingan said that support for the party has been growing and previously was not offered to field candidates in the area as they respected the wishes of other coalition partners.

"I am seeing an increasing support for Sabah STAR, (which) is very encouraging," said Kitingan, who is on a Sabah STAR President's Tour Series in the east coast zones of Lahad Datu and Tawau," he told reporters in Tungku.

Kitingan, who is Deputy Chief Minister I, said the tour was aimed at raising awareness among the people on the efforts to bring development and opportunities to the people in all areas.

The party’s Tungku division chief Suling Isib, organised the tour series on the east coast.

Sabah STAR, which holds six state seats, is widely seen as a Sabah interior party representing the native Kadazandusun and Murut communities.

Kitingan also said that Tungku, with its vast and fertile land, could contribute to increasing Sabah's food production.

"Land in this area can be opened for agriculture and animal husbandry because we are still behind in the food sector and rely on rice and meat imports.

"We need to produce more food, not only rice but also fruits and other food such as meat and chicken," he added.

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