Jeffrey out to unite Sabahans under UBF

Jeffrey Kitingan is bent on using UBF as a platform to ‘nurture and raise young, fresh leaders in their communities’.

(Free Malaysia Today) – KOTA KINABALU: United Borneo Front (UBF) leader Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that he will not return to any of the existing political parties in Sabah until Sabahans are united under the UBF banner.

“If the UBF struggle can be carried out by a handful of the parties in Sabah, just as SNAP (Sarawak Nasional Party) is willing to do that in Sarawak, there may not even be a necessity for me to set up my own political party here,” he said.

“If I am continually pressured by the people to represent them or provide a vehicle for them, I will call the parties in the Borneo Alliance to democratically arrive at an acceptable solution,” he said.

He said that MPs and state assemblymen in Sabah and Sarawak must understand the concept of the “Borneo Agenda” and that they are responsible as servants of the people to carry its aims.

“We may be able to push for at least 35% representation in Parliament for Borneo MPs to allow for the right of veto instead of the pathetic 25% currently,” Jeffrey added.

He said that UBF would drill the meaning of a non-partisan civil rights movement into the people “until it completely sinks in”.

Jeffrey pointed out the rapid degeneration of Sabah from the richest state in the country to the poorest in a span of 47 years.

“In the 1960 census, with just under 1.2 million people in Sabah and Sarawak, over 50% of the population in Sabah and Sarawak were illiterate with only 0.0007% of the total population in both states holding graduate degrees.

“Our forefathers and ancestors had every reason to fear the federation… despite that, the Cobbold Commission Report states that Sabah had active trade and full employment as a result of its trading with Hong Kong.

“Today, we have a bigger population, a huge percentage of graduates and the global reputation, as endorsed by the World Bank, for being the poorest in the nation.

“On top of that, we are more ignorant than ever. Having left politics, some quarters are still trying to convince people that I am a politician or in the opposition.

“They are completely ignorant of the civil rights movement concept and continue to hold personal vendettas against me even though I have chosen to be non-partisan,” he said.

Long-term agenda

Jeffrey hopes to use the UBF platform to “nurture and raise young, fresh leaders in their communities, so that they will take over the baton from the present leaders who have been in the scene for far too long, past their expiry dates”.