A staggering 4,000 Sabahans braved the rain to witness the launch of a new political vehicle, the Sabah chapter of Star.
A crowd of about 4,000 mostly men, received the announcement at an almost packed Hongkod Koisaan Hall in Penampang near here, with a burst of applause.
All ardent supporters of maverick politician Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, they greeted the news as confirmation that their hero would once again be catapulted to new political heights in the up-coming general election.
“Todate, we have received about 60,000 applications forms to become members of Star in Sabah,” said Jalumin Bayogoh, the master of ceremonies for the event.
“Out of the 100,000 forms distributed we have received back 60,000 forms,” Jalumin said as an afternoon shower started, threatening to put a damper on the proceedings.
A check with one of Kitingan’s lieutenants, Daniel John Jambun, confirmed the figure.
“Yes it is a fact we already received about 60,000 applications out of the 100,000 forms distributed through our men and coordinators throughout Sabah,” he told FMT.
The forms were understood to have been distributed soon after the first anniversary of United Borneo Front (UBF) on Dec 16.
The heavy rains failed to dampen those who turned in droves in cars and buses, some all the way from districts as far as Tawau, Kudat and Nabawan.
Jambun believes the crowd would have been much larger if the event had been held either on Saturday or Sunday. Organisors had to settle for Friday afternoon as the hall had been booked for most weekends until May this year.
“Nevertheless it was a huge success,” he said adding that more members as well as influential opinion leaders are expected to join the Sabah chapter of Star.
Apart for Kitingan and Star president, Dr Dripin Sakoi, also present were representatives of various organisations including Amdee Sidek, deputy president of Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) who came with his colleagues, Monggoh Orow, the deputy state chairman of Amanah as well as leaders of Sabah People Front (SPF) which is expecting to get a boost from senior state Umno leaders soon.
Former president of Setia (now renamed Bersama), Henry Sabagong Rumpit handed in his membership application form on the spot.