Jeffrey denies Sabah rights issue wrecking opposition alliance

Joe Fernandez
MySabah Secretariat chief administrator, James Ligunjang, echoed Jeffrey on the rights issue.
KOTA KINABALU: United Sabah Alliance (USA) founder, Jeffrey Kitingan, has dismissed speculation in the local media that his participation in the MySabah Rights Committee (MySabah) was straining ties about the four component parties.

“A MySabah sub-committee, chaired by me, did submit a memorandum to the Sabah Rights Review Committee (SRRC) under Minister with Special Tasks Teo Chee Kang,” conceded Jeffrey who also heads Parti Solidariti Tanah AirKu (Star), a USA member.

He added that the matter could not be a bone of contention among USA members, as claimed by the local media. “The question does not arise,” said Jeffrey.

The MySabah memorandum on the rights issue was submitted to the SRRC long before Teo invited political parties and NGOs to a public hearing in January this year, he explained.

Jeffrey was commenting on a local media report that Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) president Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing was unhappy that MySabah was a parallel effort on the rights issue.

PCS is a USA member. Other members are the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) and the Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah.

Briefly, said Jeffrey, the MySabah memorandum was a follow-up to a similar memorandum submitted on 15 July 2015 to the Prime Minister following two public forums held in Kota Kinabalu.

“The Prime Minister then agreed to set up a Special Committee to consider Sabah’s 40 per cent revenue entitlement under the Federal Constitution,” he said.

USA was united on the issue of Sabah rights, he stressed.

MySabah Secretariat chief administrator, James Ligunjang, echoed Jeffrey on the rights issue.

MySabah, he said, was in fact initiated about two years ago as an apolitical effort on the rights issue. “The members include retired senior civil servants and professionals including senior lawyers,” he said.

MySabah was chaired by Foreign Minister Anifah Aman, he continued. “Jeffrey’s contribution was a research paper on the 40 per cent revenue entitlement and revenue rights under the Federal Constitution.”

Lingunjang sees nothing wrong with Sabahans across the political divide working on the rights issue. “We appreciate the leadership of Anifah and Jeffrey in pursuing the Sabah rights issue.”

The rights issue was not a political issue, he cautioned. “No political party should politicise the Sabah rights issue.”

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