My support is for PN, says victorious independent candidate

(FMT) – Independent candidate Rubin Balang, who won the interior Kemabong seat, has pledged his support for the Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition comprising PPBM, STAR and SAPP.

His move gives PN 18 seats, one more than what was initially announced by the Election Commission (EC) on the Sabah election results last night.

It also means that the loose coalition Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) – comprising PN, Barisan Nasional and PBS – now has 39 seats, with BN contributing 14 seats and PBS seven.

Rubin caught the attention of the media when he joined a press conference by Sabah PN chief Hajiji Noor at a hotel here early this morning.

Speaking to reporters later, Rubin, who was a five-term Kemabong assemblyman from 1994 to 2018 under Umno, said he was supporting PN and anyone proposed by the coalition as the chief minister.

Hajiji, when asked why Rubin was present, said “it’s because he supports PN”, to loud cheers from supporters.

Rubin won with a majority of 1,012 votes after collecting 4,214 votes against the closest contender from Upko, Lucas Umbul who secured 3,202 votes, in a six-cornered fight.

Meanwhile, two other independent candidates also won yesterday namely Masiung Banah, who managed to retain the Kuamut seat and Rudy Awah who secured the Pitas seat, beating contenders from BN and Warisan, among others.

It is, however, unclear if the duo will also follow in Rubin’s footsteps.

It is well known that Masiung was one of 16 assemblymen who ditched Warisan to side with former chief minister Musa Aman in an unsuccessful bid to topple the Warisan-led state government last July.

Musa’s attempt to return as CM then triggered the snap state election, with Warisan president Shafie Apdal choosing to dissolve the Sabah legislative assembly.