KOTA KINABALU (THE STAR) – Three state ministers including two deputy chief ministers are among the 25 candidates being fielded for the ruling state Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-Barisan Nasional (BN) coalitions in the upcoming polls.
Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, who is Sabah STAR president, would defend Keningau while Sabah Barisan chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin would defend Kinabatangan.
Two UMNO state ministers, Datuk Shahelmey Yahya and Datuk Yakubah Khan were being fielded in Putatan and Sepanggar.
Also defending their seats were Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili in Kota Marudu and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah deputy president Datuk Arthur Kurup in Pensiangan.
Attempting a comeback was former Federal minister Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan who was named as the Barisan candidate for the Kota Belud seat.
Abdul Rahman took over the Kota Belud seat from Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak, the other name earlier speculated for the seat, in the 2008 general election and held it for two terms.
The other candidates named under the seat sharing – 13 seats for GRS and 12 for Barisan – were Datuk Seri Ruddy Awah (Kudat), Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (Tuaran), Yee Tsai Yiew (Kota Kinabalu), Kenny Chua for Penampang, Datuk Amirzan Mohd Ali (Papar), Datuk Matbali Musah (Sipitang), Datuk Jonathan Yasin (Ranau), Khairul Firdaus Akbarkhan (Batu Sapi), Nixon Abdul Habi (Semporna), Thomas Lau Chee Keong (Sandakan) and Lo Su Fui (Tawau).