Kitingan vs Kitingan vs Kitingan
PETALING JAYA: Sabah will see the fight for the Tambunan state seat among three brothers from the Kitingan family.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president and Tambunan incumbent assemblyman Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, 78, is expected to defend his seat against younger brothers Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, 70, and Crispin Kitingan, 59, of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan).
While both elder Kitingans had pitted themselves against each other in the past with Joseph winning the Keningau parliament seat during the 13th general election, Crispin has decided to jump into the fray for the first time.
A three-cornered fight between Joseph and Jeffrey, saw the latter win the Keningau seat with a majority of 4,264. The other candidate was from PKR.
Despite Joseph, who is also the “Huguan Siou” or Paramount Leader of the Kadazan-Dusun community, having initially expressed intention to quit from his political career, he was reported to have stated his intention to contest should it be required by the top leadership and the grassroots.
It is learnt that Jeffrey will contest the Keningau parliamentary and Tambunan state seats regardless of is fielded as his opponent, including his brothers.
Crispin, who joined Warisan last year after serving as an officer in the Sabah Forestry Development Authority, was reported to have expressed disinterest to become a candidate but will take up the opportunity if his party leader decided on it.
The Kitingan family is no stranger to politics, with Joseph having served as the seventh Sabah chief minister and Jeffrey having served as Bingkor assemblyman recently.
Their nephew Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkili currently serves as PBS deputy president and is incumbent Kota Marudu MP.