Wednesday, January 5, 2011
Colleagues pay tribute to Jeffrey
KOTA KINABALU: Several PKR stalwarts here have credited the party’s growth in Sabah to their former colleague Jeffrey Kitingan.
Jeffrey quit PKR on Dec 31 putting an end to months of speculation as to whether he will follow in the footsteps of Kuala Lumpur based ex-PKR supreme council member Zaid Ibrahim.
Yesterday, lawyer Ansari Abdullah, who had mostly had an uneasy political relationship with Jeffrey, surprisingly paid tribute to Jeffrey.
“Jeffrey contributed tremendously to the growth of PKR in Sabah and in the incorporation of specific agendas for Sabah and Sarawak which were sealed by Pakatan Rakyat during its first convention in December, 2010.
“These include the setting up of a Royal Commission of Inquiry on illegal immigrants, increase of royalties on gas and petroleum, Borneonisation of the civil service and the abolition of the cabotage policy,” he said when asked to comment on Jeffrey’s resignation.
Ansari said although the media had gone to town with rumours of a leadership tussle between Jeffrey and himself, there was nothing personal.
“I had never attacked Jeffrey in the media during his tenure in PKR although a lot had been written about our so-called tussle in PKR.
“We do have differences of opinion on certain matters but then that is normal among politicians,” Ansari said.
‘True son of Sabah’
In an e-mail to FMT, Ansari, who is PKR divisional head for Tuaran, said: “I would like to repeat that as a Sabahan, I had and still do share some of the concerns about the state and PKR that Jeffrey had been addressing all this while.
“Speaking for myself and the Tuaran PKR division, I wish to thank Jeffrey for his contributions to the party and wish him well on his Borneo Agenda.
“To fellow Sabahans in PKR, I urge everybody to respect Jeffrey’s decision. We should move on and continue with our struggle.”
Meanwhile, Christina Liew, also a lawyer and an ally of Jeffrey, said she regretted to see his departure from PKR, adding that he was “a true son of Sabah who never ceases to fight for the interest of Sabah”.
“I share his dream and vision. I wish he would stay on… we can join forces in our struggle for Sabah. I wish him the best because his success means success for Sabah. Jeffrey is a man of courage,” she said in a text message to FMT, adding that she spoke from her heart.