STAR willing to ‘cooperate’ not ‘work under’ Pakatan

Former Upko deputy president Wilfred Bumburing, now APS chief, has been urged to be realistic in his strategy to contest all KDM seats.

Queville To, FMT

KOTA KINABALU: The State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chapter has officially conveyed to Anwar Ibrahim that it is “agreeable” to Pakatan Rakyat components contesting in Sabah to topple Barisan Nasional federal and state governments.

STAR information chief Edward Linggu said while STAR would “cooperate” with the Pakatan coalition, it was not willing to “work under them”.

“This [stand] has been conveyed by our chairman in writing recently to the top leadership in Pakatan including Anwar.

“In our official letter, we have also conveyed that while we suggest that Pakatan focuses on seats in the Peninsula, we are agreeable to Pakatan components contesting in Sabah to achieve a 1:1 contest to bring down BN,” he said.

Linggu was responding to Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) president Wilfred Bumburing’s comment last week that “it is difficult to talk to Sabah STAR”. Bumburing had also inferred that APS should be left to lead the charge in the KDM-majority seats.

According to Linggu, Pakatan component parties have been in direct discussions with STAR on seats distribution in Sabah.

“Obviously Bumburing is not aware of this [direct discussion]. How will he be able to look after Sabah’s rights and interests when he is not officially inside Pakatan?

“He will have no say and unable to sway even Sabah PKR as he is an outsider to Sabah Pakatan,” said Linggu.

Urging Bumburing to be “realistic”, Linggu claimed neither APS nor Bumburing had the capacity to contest in all KDM seats in the coming general election.

“He [Bumburing] must not be over-confident of its [APS] capability. People are saying he is just a small fish in a big pond but thinks he is a giant and demands to contest all the KDM seats.

“Even if he had taken on the entire Upko, he is in no position to demand for all the KDM seats,” he said, alluding to Bumburing’s previous role in Upko as its deputy president.

Bumburing, who is Tuaran MP, defected in July last year. He immediately set up APS and pledged support for Anwar and Pakatan but refused to become a member of any party within the coalition.