Umno rejects Jeffrey's application


  • Nation
  • Friday, 06 Jun 2003

KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has rejected Bingkor assemblyman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan’s application to join the party. 

The decision was made by the party management and disciplinary committee that met on Wednesday, said Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi. 

“His application is not accepted,” he said in a matter-of-fact way when asked by reporters after the opening of the fourth annual Small and Medium Industries One-Stop exhibition at the Putra World Trade Centre yesterday. 

Asked why Dr Jeffrey’s application was rejected, Abdullah said: “No need to explain lah.” 

Dr Jeffrey has been without a party since he left Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah last year following a failed bid to become the president. 

In Kota Kinabalu, Dr Jeffrey was silent for about 30 seconds when told of the decision and asked if it was true. 

When told Abdullah announced it in Kuala Lumpur, he declined to comment further, saying that he needed to see it in “black and white.” 

“I can’t say anything until I get the letter. I have not heard anything,” Dr Jeffrey said. 

When pressed further about his future plans, he said: “I have to consult my people. Let me discuss with them, then I will call a press conference.” 

Dr Jeffrey is the younger brother of Parti Bersatu Sabah president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan. 

Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Rahim Ismail said that Dr Jeffrey must respect Umno's decision. 

“Dr Jeffrey is free to choose his next political direction,” said Rahim. 

Speculations have been rife that Dr Jeffrey may take over a fringe Kadazandusun opposition Parti Pasok Momogun which has publicly invited him to join the party. 

The one time strategist for the PBS government, Dr Jeffrey contested the Bingkor seat in 1994 on a PBS ticket and left to join PBRS that saw the collapse of the three-week old PBS government. 

He joined the now defunct Parti Akar the same year but quit in 1996 after failing in a leadership tussle with Datuk Pandikar Amin Mulia. He returned to PBS the same year. 

In 2000, he quit PBS again to rejoin PBRS where he failed in his bid to topple incumbent president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup during the party’s tumultuous congress in January this year. 

Quitting PBRS late last year, Dr Jeffrey became an “independent” applying to join Parti Upko under Tan Sri Bernard Dompok but later withdrew his application to rejoin his brother’s party that gave him a cold reception. 

He made two applications to join Umno – one through the party headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, which was rejected yesterday, while the second application through a branch was accepted but was cancelled due to a technical error.  

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