PBS has decided to withdraw from the contest for the Tambunan and Bingkor seats and throw its support behind the Perikatan Nasional (PN) candidates from STAR to prevent clashes among Gabungan Rakyat Sabah allies.
PN secretary-general Hamzah Zainudin said in return, PN-STAR would mobilise its machinery to support PBS candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api.
“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 said at a press conference in Kota Kinabalu today.
Hamzah, who is home minister, said PN and PBS would also talk to their supporters to ensure that this cooperation would last until polling day on Saturday.
Tambunan is seeing a six-cornered fight with PN-STAR represented by Jeffrey Kitingan and PBS fielding Silverius Bruno. Bingkor is also witnessing a six-way battle which includes Robert Tawik of PN-STAR and Peter Jino Allion of PBS.
Samuil Mopun and Yee Moh Chai are the PBS candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api respectively.
Previous reports said STAR was backing independent candidates in Bengkoka and Api-Api.
GRS members PN, Barisan Nasional and PBS are involved in clashes in 17 of the 73 seats up for grabs in the state election.
Hamzah said GRS members were discussing how 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 will be no clashes.
“We want to show solidarity to recapture Sabah,” said Hamzah, who is also Bersatu secretary-general.
Kitingan said his party accepted the arrangement and hoped that it would strengthen the coalition and help topple Warisan.
PBS secretary-general Jahid Jahim meanwhile said he had been told by PBS president Maximus Ongkili to cease campaigning in Tambunan and Bingkor and to help the PN-STAR candidates in these areas.