Twenty-five potential Sabah STAR election candidates have signed an integrity pledge by Transparency International.
KOTA KINABALU: Transparency International (TI) has praised the State Reform Party (STAR) for being the first political party in Malaysia to sign an “integrity pledge” to be honourable and incorruptible at the coming general election.
TI-Malaysia president, Paul Low Seng Kuan, said he was happy that STAR has come forward as a group and signed the pledge at its first convention here today, ahead of a crucial general election, due by April next year.
“It is an important step taken to strengthen societal trust in our politicians and our democracy and governance. We must fight corruption as corruption has failed nations,” he said.
STAR led by its founder, Patau Rubis, president Dripin Sakoi and Sabah chairman Jeffrey Kitingan jointly led a group of 25 Sabah STAR leaders in the pledge at the end of the one-day convention at Star City convention hall here.
Then the group led by Jeffrey read aloud their pledge in Malay before Low and the more than 2,000 delegates including scores from Sarawak, especially from Lawas, Mambong and Mas Gading areas.
By doing so, Sabah STAR also revealed its likely candidates in at least 25 parliamentary and state constituencies, as those who were selected to sign the integrity oath are front-running candidates.
Some of them recently resigned from their jobs including a few teachers.
Among the 25 identified were STAR Sabah deputies, Awang Ahmad Sah Awang Sahari, Daniel John Jambun, and Dr Nicholas James Guntobon as well as senior members Baharudin Nayan, Edward Linggu, Rubin Guribah, Maklin Masiau, Daniel Jebon Janaun, Phillip Among, Hasmin Azroy Abdullah, Melanie Annol, Marunsai Dawai, Suwah Bulleh, Fedrin Tuliang, James Ait, Edward Podok and Alex Sintin.
But Sabah STAR secretary, Guandee Kohoi, when contacted, clarified that those who were selected to sign the TI integrity pledge today were not automatically candidates.
“We signed as a group as we believe and adhere to this pledge. All our candidates will have to sign integrity pledge eventually,” he told FMT.
Rubis said he was happy witnessing the growth of his party in Sabah under the leadership of Jeffrey over the last eight months.
“I congratulate Sabah leaders and members for their commitment in nurturing the party’s growth and in upholding the integrity pledge,” he said.
Earlier, Low told FMT that while STAR is the first party as a group to sign its integrity pledge, there are already four individuals who have done so, among them are Nuruh Izzah Anwar of PKR and Mohd Khairy Jamaludin of Umno.