KOTA KINABALU: The Pakatan Rakyat coalition should leave Sabah and Sarawak out of their agenda and allow the new “Pakatan Borneo” to deal with these two states, said Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
The maverick politician, who has taken Sarawak-based State Reform Party (STAR) as his latest political vehicle, said the party would work with local-based opposition Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Sabah People's Front (SPF) and the yet-to-be registered Usno Baru to form the pro tem United Borneo Alliance (UBA) that will also include parties from Sarawak.
“They (peninsular Malaysia) have Pakatan Rakyat and we have Pakatan Borneo, so they should leave the two states for only parties from Sabah and Sarawak to contest.
“Don't be too greedy, let us take on the Barisan. We do not want one coloniser to be replaced with another,” he said at the launching of Sabah STAR at the Hongkod Koisan hall of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) here yesterday.
Present were STAR president Dr Dripin Sakoi and founding president Datuk Dr Patau Rubis.
Speaking to a crowd of over 1,000 people, Dr Jeffrey who is Sabah STAR chairman, said it would be a strategic move for Pakatan Rakyat to focus on peninsular Malaysia while UBA focuses on Sabah and Sarawak.
“This way, the opposition group has a better chance of defeating Barisan,” he said, rallying the crowd behind the old Sabah political battle cry for restoration of state rights.
“The only way to protect the Borneo states under the Malaysia Agreement is to ensure all parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak stay with local-based parties,” he added in his speech.
STAR had remained a low key party in Sarawak after it unsuccessfully contested in 1996.
Though SAPP and Usno Baru sent representatives to the launch, it has yet to be seen if a formal alliance among local-based state opposition parties can emerge.
Dr Jeffrey, a former PKR vice-president, had also held key posts in various parties during a political career that started with Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the 1994 state elections.
He had also been with Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Parti Akar.
He caused a stir when he once reportedly applied to join Umno. It did did not materialise, with some quarters even claiming he applied twice.