KOTA KINABALU, Nov 9 — Sabah’s lone Perikatan Nasional candidate Datuk Ronald Kiandee said today he is getting the support of division leaders from the Sabah-based Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (PKDM) in Telupid dan Labuk.
A statement issued by Kiandee’s aide said that STAR’s Telupid division chief Justina Udilis, Labuk division chief Dolusim Podosian and PKDM Telupid division chief Pinus Gondili were present at Kiandee’s campaign in Kampung Lidong in Telupid and gave their support to him.
“He has been here awhile and his direction should be continued. If there is someone new in his place, to stop and start again is hard,” Justina said in the statement.
“It takes a while to get ahead and Kiandee is at a good stage now. So he should be able to stay on.”
The trio said in the statement that Kiandee has a good record and was looking after the welfare of the public, especially when he was the agriculture and food industries minister.
They also reasoned that STAR is a part of Perikatan Nasional (PN) and a part of GRS in Sabah, making the party allies in both coalitions.
Pinus was also quoted saying that PKDM in Telupid and Beluran is supportive of Kiandee as the candidate, and it is sad to hear he was “betrayed”.
“I’m worried that if someone else replaces him, we won’t have a minister here anymore,” he said.
Earlier, during another campaign event in Kampung Bintang Mas Telupid, United Sabah National Alliance (Usno) Sugut division chief Jamin Sabu also pledged his support to Kiandee.
Sugut, Telupid and Labuk are both state constituencies under Beluran.
Kiandee stirred controversy on Nomination Day when he broke ranks and contested against the state’s GRS and Barisan Nasional pact, which had made the decision to drop him and Bersatu out of the seat in favour of Umno’s Benedict Asmat.
Kiandee, a five-term MP, then went to the national leadership and obtained an appointment letter from Bersatu president Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin to contest under a PN ticket.
His actions were criticised for disrupting the GRS-BN power balance in the state. Sabah BN chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin said he would “settle the matter” with GRS chairman Datuk Hajiji Noor in a few days as to how to deal with the separate machineries on the ground.
Both Bung and Hajiji, who is GRS chairman, said that the GRS-BN pact was still intact.