KOTA KINABALU: Sabah PKR received yet another blow today when its influential 26-member Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) Task Force dissolved itself and resigned from the party.
Announcing their decision to quit en masse, KDM chairman Daniel John Jambun said it was “not a sudden decision but had come after deep-soul searching”.
“After a deep soul-searching, we found that being a peninsular-based party, PKR is just like Umno and can never be trusted to fight for Sabah and Sarawak’s cause.
“We are now supporting United Borneo Front (UBF). As a NGO, it will allow us to be heard and free us from being colonised for 47 years untill we have now been reduced to becoming the poorest within Malaysia,” he said.
Also present at the packed press conference were KDM committee members and senior PKR leaders like Edward Linggu, Mozes Iking, Paul Kerangkas, Evelyn Gobile, Nicholas Guntobon, Sylvester Balon, and Rubbin Guribah.
The task force was former PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan’s “eyes and ears”. It was instrumental in garnering unprecedented support for peninsular-based PKR in Sabah, especially among the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut communities after Jeffrey joined the party in 2006.
Several PKR leaders have credited the party’s foray and influence in Sabah to Jeffrey.
But failure to convince the KL-based PKR leadership to champion Borneonisation and the 20-point Malaysia Agreement led Jeffrey to resign from the party on Dec 31.
In his letter to PKR president Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, Jeffrey said: “We have learnt from the 47 years of our so-called independence and our partnership with Sarawak and Malaya in the federation of Malaysia that we cannot trust others to defend our rights and to do things for us… We have to take responsibility for ourselves and our future.”
He also touched on party adviser Anwar Ibrahim, saying: “Anwar’s obsession is to capture Putrajaya without listening to us and our Borneo Agenda…PKR’s agenda is not our agenda and the party’s priority is not our priority.”
Jeffrey, who now heads UBF, is championing autonomy for Sabah and Sarawak and has called on Sabahans to unite to regain their position in the country.
Meanwhile at the press conference today, Jambun, when asked by reporters if he was disappointed with Anwar, said: “Yes and no. No because there must be a way to work with PKR.”
On whether they plan to form another political party, Jambun said: “Well cross that bridge when we come to it… just wait for another two or three weeks for new developments.”
Jambun’s response has further fuelled speculations that Jeffrey’s group is planning for a new political vehicle heading into the 13th general election.