|30 parties eligible to contest
The New Straits Times: Wednesday, February 3, 1999
By Joniston Bangkuai
KOTA KINABALU, Tues. - A total of 30 political parties will be eligible to contest the forthcoming State elections.
State Election Officer Abdul Hamid Ali said all the parties had given their symbols to the Election Commission.
Nine of the political parties are component members of the ruling Barisan Nasional, while the rest are in the opposition.
The nine BN component parties are Umno, Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (Akar), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), MCA, Gerakan and MIC. With the exception of Umno, MCA, Gerakan and MIC, the others are Sabah-based parties.
Among the prominent Opposition parties are Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Barisan Rakyat Sabah Bersekutu (Bersekutu), Democratic Action Party (DAP) and Parti Islam SeMalaysia (Pas).
The smaller opposition parties are Parti Demokratik Setia Sehati Kuasa Rakyat Bersatu Sabah (Setia) and Pertubuhan Kebangsaan Pasok Nunukragang Bersatu (Pasok).
Abdul Hamid said political parties and individuals can collect nomination forms from his office and district offices after the dissolution of the State Legislative Assembly.
He said all the materials required on nomination and polling day have been wrapped up in boxes and would be sent to returning officers by next week.
Meanwhile, Abdul Hamid said the Commission would hire at least eight helicopters and 60 speed boats to transport officers and ballot boxes to 72 remote polling centres.
A total of 6,339 staff, including temporary workers, will run the elections. "We are 100 per cent ready for the elections, which we expect will be held soon," he said.