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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Life Of Dr Jeffrey Kitingan

December 17, 2011
Jeffrey Kitingan’s latest move
WITH the advent of the next general elections due anytime now, Harvard graduate and former ISA detainee Datuk Dr Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan of Sabah has found a new home to advance his political ambition by joining a 16-year-old Sarawak party, the Sarawak Reform Party (STAR).
This latest move illustrates the chequered political career of Jeffrey since he first entered into politics in February 1994 when he stood and won the Bingkor state seat on the ticket of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by his brother Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan.
Previous to that, Jeffrey had been the Director of Sabah Foundation and the executive chairman of its investment arm, Innoprise Corporation Sdn Bhd and considered the ideologue of PBS and confidant of Pairin who was then the chief minister of Sabah.

He had to resign from his posts at the Foundation to enter into the political arena and play a direct role in the affairs of the PBS.
His candidacy in that state elections (Feb 18-19) had not been easy going. It was reported that his brother and party president gave confirmation only after a long tussle.

But Jeffrey’s maiden attempt at the polls, only a month after his release from a 31-month detention under the Internal Security Act (ISA), was impressive enough.
He secured 6,408 votes against 2,249 votes received by Barisan Nasional’s John Sedomon of AKAR party and 688 for Datuk Ayub Aman, who stood as an independent.
However, when many PBS leaders started to make their exit and beginning to align themselves with the BN coalition, Jeffrey too made his move, firstly to the newly formed Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and later to Parti Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (AKAR).

His next switch of political parties was to United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO).
In 2003, he was reported to have applied to join the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) but his application was rejected.
He then joined Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and rose to the rank of a vice president until his resignation from the position and the party on Oct 28, 2009.
In the March 2008 general elections, Jeffrey challenged his brother Joseph Pairin from BN in the Keningau Parliamentary Constituency, but lost.

Over the past year, Jeffrey has been traveling all over Sabah holding tea-parties to explain and galvanize support to his ‘Borneo Agenda’ cause.
Jeffrey was born in Kota Marudu, Sabah and a 1981 graduate of the Kennedy School of Government and a 1984 graduate of the Harvard-Tufts Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, both of the Harvard University, USA.
He was detained under the ISA reportedly on suspicion of plotting to take Sabah out of the federation of Malaysia.
He was the founding Chairman of the Institute for Development Studies (IDS) Sabah, established by the PBS state government in 1985.
He has spoken widely on Sabah’s pre-Malaysia safeguards known as the ‘20 Points’ and on Borneonization of the civil service.

Since leaving PKR a year ago as its member and national vice president, Jeffrey has been devoting time and energy in promoting the United Borneo Front (UBF) that he heads as president.
STAR president, Dr Dripin Sakoi, presented Jeffrey a membership card and document empowering him to lead a Sabah chapter of the party in time for the 13th general election.
Four of Jeffrey’s allies in Sabah – Guandi Kohoi, Rubin Guribah, Jeffrey Telado and James Aik – were present to receive their membership cards from Sakoi Dec 16 at a restaurant in Penampang on the outskirts of Kota Kinabalu.
“We in the STAR fully subscribed and support the Borneo Agenda of UBF and it is time now for us to unite… I am calling on Jeffrey to come forward and receive his membership.
“He is now to lead the Sabah chapter of our party,” Sakoi said amidst applause from some 300 supporters of UBF and guests who had gathered to celebrate UBF’s first anniversary.
Earlier on, in his hour-long speech, Jeffrey announced the formation of an alliance with Sabah and Sarawak-based parties to be known as the United Borneo Alliance that would take on the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) in the upcoming 13th general election.
Also present were: pro-tem president of newly revived Usno, Datu Badaruddin Tun Datu Mustapha and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) deputy president Amde Sidik.
“Sabah and Sarawak have common interests. We feel there is a need to form an alliance as a platform for us to pursue the Borneo agenda.
“We (Sabah and Sarawak) can be teammates in protecting and safeguarding the interests and the rights of the people in both states,” Jeffrey told reporters after making the announcement.
Only time will tell what would be the next move of this controversial figure in the political arena of Sabah and Sarawak.
Sources: Borneo Pedia

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