KOTA KINABALU: Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PHRS) president Lajim Ukin will defend his Klias seat and will have another go at the Beaufort federal seat in the coming election.
He had won the Beaufort seat in 2008 as a Barisan Nasional candidate in 2008 with a 10,914-vote majority but he lost it in 2013 by 673 votes when he stood on a PKR ticket.
Announcing the party’s candidates here today, Lajim said the party will contest 28 state and 16 parliamentary seats, the most number of seats among the four parties in the Gabungan Sabah alliance.
Earlier today, two other members of Gabungan Sabah also announced their line-up of candidates.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan said his party will be fielding 17 candidates for state and five candidates for parliamentary seats.
Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Yong Teck Lee will stand in the sole Kota Kinabalu federal seat given to the party while four others will represent SAPP in four state seats.
In addition, four other SAPP members will stand under the STAR banner and three others on the PHRS ticket.
Most of the PHRS seats are located in Sabah’s west coast and the interior.
Lajim said one of the federal seats, Batu Sapi, which was supposed to be contested by his party had been given to another member of Gabungan Sabah, Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS).
“We have just had a discussion and both PPRS president Arshad Maulap and I agreed that he will contest in the Batu Sapi seat as well as the Sekong state seat,” he said.
Among the PHRS candidates are Syra Peter Gom, a singer who has just launched her album. She is set to contest against United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau for the Tuaran seat.
PHRS will field Asmara Asmad to challenge Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie Apdal in Semporna.
An unusual candidate is Bulangan Panasi of the Begak tribe, a disappearing Kadazandusun Murut ethnic group, who will represent his party in the Tungku state constituency.
“There are about 17,000 voters in Tungku. It is the location of the Tanduo incident in 2013 (when armed intruders from the Philippines landed in Sabah). Fortunately, nowadays, the place is peaceful and much calmer,” said Bulangan.
“As for the support, I can say the awareness about Sabah’s rights is gaining traction among people there, especially from the KDM community. More people are convinced of what we need to do to regain our rights which have long been lost to the federal government,” he said.