Hold fast to local parties


Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan

STAR chief warns against letting state falling into the control of peninsula-based parties

KUCHING: Sarawakians should stick with the present state government as it is led by local-based parties which have the interest of the people at heart, says State Reform Party (STAR) Sabah chief Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan.

He stressed that the people in Sarawak should be grateful that they were still being ruled by the local-based political parties unlike Sabah which is controlled by a peninsula-based party.

“My advice for Sarawakians is this; why should you support the opposition especially the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) which is all made up of peninsula-based parties? The people of Sarawak must learn
from our (Sabahans) bitter experiences where most of our interests have been eroded away under the current government,” Jeffery told The Borneo Post here yesterday.

He said that was why STAR advised the people of Sabah to reject PR in the coming general election as they did not have the people’s interests at heart.

Jeffery pointed out that the PR ‘Buku Jingga’ (Orange Book) did not specifically mention and explain how the people of Sarawak and Sabah would and could benefit if they were to capture Putrajaya after the general election.

“Be they Pakatan Rakyat or any other Peninsula-based BN parties, they are all the same. I can say this from my own experiences dealing with them,” added Jeffery who was detained under ISA for two years in Kamunting in the 90’s.

He called on the people of both states to understand and accept STAR’s ‘Borneo Agenda’ whichwas to ensure that the Malaysia Agreement in 1963 would be uphold and not diluted.

“We hope that the people of both states take this coming general election seriously and vote wisely so that we can become the real kingmakers, thus can bargain for better deals with federal leaders,” he said.

Jeffery also hoped that with better bargaining power after the 13th general election, both Sarawak and Sabah would be able to fight for at least one third of 222 parliamentary seats as agreed in during the formation of Malaysia.

Currently Peninsular Malaysia has more than 75 per cent of the seats leaving Sarawak and Sabah to have only 56 seats with Sarawak having 31 and Sabah 25 seats.

On the same note, Sarawak’s Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Datuk Dr Stephen Rundi Utom said Pakatan Rakyat de factor leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim should be rejected along with the opposition parties as he had done nothing for the development of Sarawak during his tenure as deputy prime minister in the 90’s.

“There were many projects which were terminated by him. He even wanted to downsize Bakun HEP project,” revealed Dr Rundi.

As such he said the people should be aware that Pakatan Rakyat’s political agenda would not benefit them as all they wanted was to take over Putrajaya.

“Why only now when he is in the opposition that he promised this and that. What had he done while he was in office before?” asked the Assistant Minister of Public Utilities.

Sarawak United People’s Party (SUPP) Bengoh chairman and Assistant Minister of Public Health Dr Jerip Susil agreed with Dr Rundi and stressed that Pakatan Rakyat had not mentioned its long term plans for Sarawak.

As such he said voting for them would thwart the state’s development momentum.

“Now we are in our third wave of development and our major focus is on the SCORE. But Pakatan Rakyat has not come with any blue print to develop the state yet,” said Dr Jerip.

Dr Jerip urged the people to be wary of the opposition’s moves as all they wanted was to use Sarawak to take over the federal government.

“It’s just about number. They just want as many seats from Sarawak as possible and that’s all,” he added.

Meanwhile, Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) president Tan Sri Dr James Jemut Masing shared Dr Jerip’s opinion that Pakatan Rakyat was insincere with its agenda to develop the state.

And on the latest report that Pakatan Rakyat was confident it could capture at least 10 of the 31 parliamentary seats in the state, Masing said, “At best Pakatan Rakyat may be able to get five seats from Sarawak. But 10 seats, that’s stretching their imagination a bit too far!