GE14: Brothers to battle it out in Tambunan

KOTA KINABALU: Tambunan, which is located at the foot of the Crocker range in Sabah was the site of a fierce battle between local hero Mat Salleh and the British army in the late 1890s.

The great battle attracted the attention of many historians, including those from abroad, to explore the true story behind the British army’s onslaught against Mat Salleh’s fort in Tambunan.

From now until May 9, Tambunan will once again be the focus of millions of people as it is set to become a battlefield again, this time in the political arena between two siblings, PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan and his younger brother, Jeffrey Kitingan.

Both the Kadazandusun leaders were earlier announced as the respective candidates of BN and Star for the Tambunan state seat in the 14th general election (GE14).

Jeffrey is also contesting the Keningau parliamentary seat, which was previously held by Pairin.

Meanwhile, Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) president Mohd Shafie Apdal set tongues wagging earlier when he announced Justin Alip, the brother-in-law of Pairin and Jeffrey, as the party’s candidate for Tambunan.

Pairin, 77, who is also Sabah deputy chief minister, has held the Tambunan seat since 1976, but in GE14, he has made way for Daniel Kinsik to contest in the Keningau seat, which he had held since 1985.

Pairin was earlier rumoured not to be defending the Tambunan and Keningau seats after hinting that he might retire after GE14.

“I agreed to contest, not only to fulfill the requests (from supporters) but I feel I am still capable of contributing to the people and the nation,” said Pairin after launching the PBS-BN supplementary manifesto here, on Thursday.

In the last election, Pairin who contested on the BN ticket won the Tambunan seat with a majority of 2,079 votes, and defended the Keningau parliamentary seat, defeating Jeffrey with a majority of 3,918 votes. Jeffrey, who contested under STAR, won the Bingkor state seat with a majority of 456 votes.