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Jeffrey’s back to active politics

Sarawak Reform Party (STAR) officially announced
Sabah politician Jeffrey Kitingan as the
chairman of its Sabah chapter.
KOTA KINABALU: Maverick Jeffrey Kitingan, who has been without a party since he left PKR one year ago, has now joined a reactivated 16-year-old Sarawak party, Sarawak Reform Party (STAR).

STAR president, Dripin Sakoi, presented Jeffrey a membership card and document empowering him to lead a Sabah chapter of the party in time for the 13th general election.

Four other Jeffrey allies in Sabah, who also received their membership cards from Sakoi today, are Guandi Kohoi, Rubin Guribah, Jeffrey Telado and James Aik.

Sakoi, who took over the presidency from STAR founder Patau Rubis in March, surprised everyone in the packed hall of a restaurant in Penampang, near here, when he invited the five to come forward and received their STAR cards while he was giving a short speech after Jeffrey finished his.

“We in STAR fully subscribed and support the Borneo Agenda of UBF (United Borneo Front) and it is time now for us to unite… I am calling on Jeffrey to come forward and receive his membership. He is now to lead the Sabah chapter,” Dripin said amidst applause from the some 300 supporters of UBF and guests.

FMT learnt that Jeffrey will tonight be meeting with his people to set up an organising committee for the launching of STAR Sabah on Jan 6.

It is understood that that Hongkod Koisaan hall, which is the headquarters of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA), has been booked. The 4,000-capacity hall will be the site for Jeffrey’s clarion call to gather together the much-touted third force.

Earlier in his press conference, Jeffrey did not mention joining any party. Neither did he say anything about it his hour-long speech.

In his speech, he reiterated his frequent call for the people to unite and see the reality of false hope and broken dreams spun by the then regime.

“We have been duped because we were too young to comprehend then (1963).

“They exploited us until we became just one of the 13 states in the federation, until we have become the poorest in this country.

“We must put a stop to this and the only way is to unite once again to fight for our independence and our rights,” Jeffrey said.

STAR on the lookout

Over the past year, Jeffrey has been travelling all over Sabah holding hundreds of tea-parties to explain and galvanise people to support his Borneo Agenda.

Badaruddin Datu Mustapha Harun, son of a former chief minister, was one of two speakers at the event. The other was Sabah Progressive People’s Party (SAPP) deputy president Amdi Sidek.

Badaruddin urged all the three major native communities in Sabah – Muslims, non-Muslims and Chinese – to unite and vote Umno and Barisan Nasional (BN) out of Sabah at the next general election.

“I have this message for Prime Minister (Najib Tun Razak): ‘kalau anak jantan, kasih daftar parti Usno sekarang…’” said Badaruddin, whose challenge to Najib was met with thunderous applause from the floor.

Badaruddin is the pro-tem president of Usno Baru which has thrown its support behind Jeffrey’s Borneo Agenda.

Among the guests who witnessed the event were Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP) adviser, Mohd Noor Mansor, former Suhakam commissioner Simon Sipaun, activists Patrick Sindu and Kalakau Untol.

The event was to celebrate the first anniversary of UBF which was launched a year ago in this same venue. Today is also the date of STAR’s 16th anniversay.

Meanwhile, Rubis, who is now the party’s permanent chairman, has dismissed any links between the party and UBF.

He said STAR was now looking for strategic partners to continue its struggle.

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