Jeffrey Kitingan rejects PAS today but supported PAS when he was in PKR

(TMI) – THE appointment of a PAS leader into the Sabah legislative assembly has been described as “unfortunate” by Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star) president Jeffrey Kitingan, as it had opened the state government to criticism and ridicule from the opposition.

Kitingan and Star, part of the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition, had come under severe criticism in social media for failing to stop the appointment of Sabah PAS secretary Aliakbar Gulasan.

Aliakbar was among six individuals who were made unelected Sabah lawmakers by Chief Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor today.

Kitingan in a statement, made it clear the appointment was the prerogative of the chief minister and “Star remains steadfast in its principle that any party whose ideals are not compatible with Sabah’s multicultural values and sensitivity should be rejected and rebuffed”.

“PAS leaders have time and again issued statements that upset the feelings and sentiments of multicultural and multireligious Sabah.

“Sabahans do not need a political party to teach them about unity between religions.

“Sabah is the shining example of multireligious unity, together with our neighbour Sarawak,” he said in his statement, congratulating the appointment of the new assembly speaker, five new state ministers, 18 assistant ministers, and six nominated assemblymen.

Kitingan, who is now a deputy chief minister in the GRS government, also made it clear that his statement should not be construed as an attack on Aliakbar’s personality.

“I am aware of the public disapproval of a PAS leader’s statement recently when the latter made erroneous and sensitive comments about the Bible in the Parliament,” he said, alluding to Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh.

“The comment deeply offended Christians in Sabah and Sarawak and Aliakbar, as a Sabahan, is in touch with the reality of Sabah.

“Nevertheless, I would like to stress here that the appointment of nominated assemblymen is the prerogative of the chief minister.

“Aliakbar is a nominated assemblyman with no ministerial duty. He has not been appointed to the Law and Native Affairs Ministry as rumoured by DAP and Warisan.”

Kitingan then appealed to Sabahans to remain calm and not give in “to the taunts and insults thrown at them by the opposition”.

“Playing politics all the time would not get us anywhere.”

In today’s appointment, Star was given an additional ministerial position with Ellron Angin made the Minister of Youth and Sports.