KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey G Kitingan has risked the comfort of life as a high-ranking civil servant in Sabah to Malaysianize Malaysia since the early 1980s before leading Sabah’s Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).
STAR Information Chief Jalumin Bayogoh said Dr Jeffrey who is currently serving as the Deputy Chief Minister has voiced Sabah’s sovereign rights in Malaysia for more than half a century until he became a fugitive from the government under Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Mahathir Mohamad and was detained under the ISA.
“Now Dr Jeffrey’s struggle is bearing fruit when more and more Sabah’s rights in the Federation are fulfilled while political parties race to become heroes fighting for Sabah’s rights in Malaysia,” said Jalumin.
Jalumin, who is also the Deputy Chairman of the Rural Development Corporation (KPD), said this in order to refute the claims of Parti Warisan N17 Darau State Assembly Member Azhar Matussin.
Azhar described Dr Jeffrey’s speech during the Malaysia Day celebration in Keningau as just candy before the election, saying when he just woke up from a dream to win the hearts of the people.
In his speech, Dr Jeffrey who is also the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries stated that Sabah and Sarawak have been celebrating Malaysia Day since 1963, while the national celebration just started this year in Malacca.
“Malaysia Day should be celebrated together throughout the country because September 16, 1963, is the day Malaysia was formed,” said Dr Jeffrey.
Dr Jeffrey who is also Keningau Member of Parliament and Tambunan Assemblyman added that it is not easy for Sabah to reach the current level in upholding the rights of sovereignty because everything has gone through a winding journey.
He said the struggle began by informing the people about the rights of Sabah, the process of forming Malaysia, the IGC Report, 20-Point, the aspirations of the pioneers of Sabah independence, the Malaysia Agreement and the Malaysian Constitution.
Jalumin asserted that many demands have been achieved even though Dr Jeffrey and STAR have just become part of the Government because the issues in question were ignored by previous Federal leaders including Warisan President Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal when he was in Umno.
According to Jalumin, Dr Jeffrey and STAR’s struggle to Malaysianize Malaysia is to make this country truly as promised to Sabah and Sarawak when they both formed Malaysia. Jalumin is confident that the struggle to Malaysianize Malaysia can bring prosperity to Sabah and the well-being of the people.