Star candidates to sign loyalty pledge – Jeffrey
Posted on July 5, 2012, Thursday
KOTA KINABALU: Since party-hopping is somewhat normal in Sabah, the State Reform Party (Star) is taking a step ahead to ensure its candidates remain loyal if they win in the 13th general election.
Sabah Star chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan in disclosing this said once they have identified potential candidates to be fielded in the coming election, they would be required to sign a pledge to make sure they stick with the party.
“This is actually the concern of the grassroots, asking us for assurance that the leaders they choose will not jump to another party if they win in the election.
“So for this reason, we are going to do a selection of potential candidates and we will make sure all of them agree and sign a pledge, including the Integrity International Pledge so that they will not abuse their powers once we form the government,” said Jeffrey.
He added that the pledge was also to ensure that these leaders would place their focus on serving the people, rather than fighting and looking for projects to their own benefit.
“We will ensure that these people’s representatives will receive some sort of compensation plan, a proper office equipped with facilities to run their tasks, sufficient allowance so that they would be able to carry out their duties freely and smoothly.
“They will be given allowances so that they can survive. We want them to understand that being a people’s representative means they have to serve and give, and not to take. Only by having such attitude will we be able to have a new breed of quality leaders. And that is what Star is fighting for,” he said.
“If everything goes well, they will be signing their pledge by end of the month.”
Jeffrey, himself, is also well known for party-hopping. He has joined at least six political parties in the last two decades, the last being Parti Keadilan Rakyat, which he left in late 2009.
The 64-year-old launched the Sabah chapter of STAR this year after being without a political party since he left PKR.
On recent rumours about a few Barisan Nasional leaders’ intention to leave the coalition to be with colleagues in the other camp, Jeffrey said to date none of them had expressed their wish to join Star.
“To me, this is not an issue because I, myself, have changed parties, but I never change my struggle and principle. I left because the party I joined had deviated from their struggle, so I had to jump out,” he said.
“The party is a ‘vehicle’, and if it can no longer stick to its initial struggle, then as a ‘passenger’, I have no choice but to get out and continue my journey and fight for my struggle.
“There is of course room for politicians who wish to join Star because I believe we live in a democratic world, and we accept the decisions made by the people.
“Just like the voters, at one time they voted for Usno, then Berjaya, followed by Parti Bersatu Sabah and now BN … so do we call them frogs for voting for different parties? Or is it a reflection of democracy? Let them make the choice,” he said.
On his decision to contest in the Keningau Parliamentary and Bingkor State seats, he reiterated his call for Pairin to let go at least one of the seats.
“I have spoken to him before and asked his people to talk to him, because I feel it is not nice to clash in the coming election.
“I believe it is better for him to release the parliamentary seat since he has a job (Deputy Chief Miister and Infrastructure Development Minister), so he can also focus on serving his constituents in Tambunan.
“The people are already saying that he is not able to cover his responsibilities, so this will save him the trouble,” said Jeffrey.