Sarawak STAR expects to contest in 10 parliamentary seasts while Sarawak Workers Party will contest in six seats.
KUCHING: State Reform Party (STAR) in Sarawak has come out of the woodwork and will contest in 10 seats in the 13th general election.
In a surprise announcement, STAR Sarawak president Dr Dripin Satos said they were “confident” of the appeal to voters in the 10 constituencies.
He said the 10 parliamentary constituencies were Mambong, Serian, Mas Gading, Saratok, Lawas, Hulu Rajang, Bandar Kuching, Stampin, Santubong and Kota Samarahan
Satos told reporters that the candidates list will be revealed later today together with nominations for Sabah state and parliamentary seats.
He however said the he will be contesting in Mambung and that STAR will field well-known environmentalist Dr Ellie Luhat in Hulu Rajang.
Another candidate Mura Kadir, formerly of PKR, will be standing in Santubong.
Asked if 10 seats was too ambitious for little known STAR, Satos said: “We are confident of winning. We will not contest otherwise.”
Party chairman Patos Rubin however will not seek to contest. Rubin said he will be helping STAR candidates in Sabah and in Sarawak.
Sarawak STAR lives in the shadow of its more dynamic sibling Sabah STAR led by maverick politician Jeffrey Kitingan.
Under Kitingan’s guidance the Sabah chapter of STAR has seen a rapid rise in its appeal to the marginalised native KadazanDusunMurut communities.
Its extensive reach among the young KDM and professionals is worrying native Barisan Nasional parties PBS, Upko and PBRS who go to polls on May 5.
STAR is expected to give BN and peninsular based Pakatan Rakyat a good fight in many constituencies in Sabah.
The party is expected to announce its party manifesto and candidate list later today.
Meanwhile Sarawak Workers Party (SWP) led by Larry Sng has released its candidates list for the six constituencies it will be contesting in.
SWP will field candidates in Lubok Antu (Sng), Selangau (Sng Chee Hua), Hulu Rajang (George Lagong, who is Pelagus assemblyman), Wong Judat (Julau), Ellison Ludan (Kanowit) and Wilfred Landon (Sr Aman). Landon recently quit PKR when he failed to be nominated for a seat.
SWP has been single minded in defeating Sarawak BN partner, Parti Rakyat Sarawak, who holds these seats.
These seats are likely to see three-cornered or multi-cornered fights.