PBS has yet to decide on Sandakan by-election, says Ongkili

PBS president Maximus Ongkili (front row, sxith from right) and party leaders and members at their leadership and management seminar in Sandakan today.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) will decide whether to contest the Sandakan parliamentary by-election after discussions with Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), its ally in Gabungan Bersatu Sabah.

“The party leadership will decide after consulting with our GBS friends,” PBS president Maximus Ongkili said after a leadership and management seminar in Sandakan today.

STAR is led by Keningau MP Jeffrey Kitingan.

The Sandakan seat fell vacant following the death of Stephen Wong Tien Fatt, the Sabah DAP chief, on March 28. He was believed to have suffered a heart attack.

The Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) are also said to be interested in contesting the by-election, which has been set for May 11.

Chief Minister and Warisan president Shafie Apdal has said his party will support the DAP candidate contesting on behalf of Pakatan Harapan.

Ongkili said PBS members and supporters in Sandakan had remained “strong and steadfast” despite being offered the opportunity to join Warisan-linked parties.

“In fact, feedback from the ground shows that many who voted for Warisan in the last election are now regretting their decision.

“They feel cheated because of broken election promises and the absence of any improvement in administration and development after almost a year in government,” he said.

He also said that business conditions in Sabah had worsened, with goods and services costing more, coupled with the drop in palm oil and rubber prices.