The Sabah STAR chief says he admires Taib's resolute stand not to allow Umno coming into Sarawak.
Luke Rintod, FMT
KOTA KINABALU: Sabah State Reform Party (STAR) chief Jeffrey Kitingan has defended his call to Sarawakians to support local instead of peninsula-based parties, saying he meant well for Sarawak after Sabah’s own experience with outsider party.
“I wanted to share with Sarawak, Sabah’s own experience with Umno’s colonisation in the state so that what happened to Sabah would not happen to Sarawak in the future,” he said in response to Sarawak PKR leader Baru Bian’s response that the former’s call was confusing Sarawakians.
Jeffrey, who is also chairman of NGO United Borneo Front (UBF), clarified that his “support local party” call has nothing to do with Sarawak Chief Minister Taib Mahmud.
Speaking exclusively to FMT here, Jeffrey stressed that what he meant was that (a) local party would be the best vehicle for Sarawak and Sabah.
“I admire Taib’s resolute stand not to allow Umno coming into Sarawak. The moment the people there supported (an) outsider party over local, they would lose their autonomy.
“I have a message to Taib too, that is the Sarawak local parties under BN right now should be open to work with whoever Sarawak is more comfortable with after the coming general election.
“It doesn’t mean I am asking the people of Sarawak to support BN, not at all, but that local parties would be the best and ideal vehicle,” he said.
He said his message was clear and that is to empower the people in the two states and never to surrender their franchise under any threat.
He said sometimes this ‘franchise’ comes masquerading as offer to help or empower them by outsider political parties or leaders.
“Just look at Sabah, the moment Umno came in place of a local party, Kuala Lumpur started calling the shots, making the state government powerless on Sabah’s destiny until the state leaders were mere puppets of outsiders. And now Sabah is the poorest state with a myriad of KL-made problems,” he said.