Kota Kinabalu Jan 12, 2012: The legality of the Sarawak-based State Reform Party's (Star) much publicised expansion to Sabah last week was thrown into doubt Wednesday with the Registrar of Societies (ROS) saying it does not have any records of the Sabah chapter being registered in the state.
A ROS spokesman said though Star was a registered party in Sarawak, there were no records of it applying to be extended to Sabah.
"If an application was put in, we would have it in our system, regardless of whether there was an approval or not,"
said the spokesman.
Star president Dr Dripin Sakoi said the party's move to Sabah was within the framework of the party's constitution.
"It is within our working committee's power to make a decision to open a chapter in Sabah.
"I am not too sure about other laws involved in the matter, (but) by party rules and regulations, we are allowed," he said.
Dr Sakoi said they amended the party's constitution in 2008 to allow it to function anywhere in the country.
Sabah Star chief Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that state chapter was a legal entity in accordance with the party's rules and regulations.
"It is not true (the move to Sabah is illegal)," he said, adding that Star was a registered political party under the ROS.
He said currently, Star is aggressively moving ahead with its plan to form divisions in all districts statewide.
Divisional committees are in the process of being set up.
The 65-year-old Dr Jeffrey claimed certain political quarters were trying to block his return to politics.
Star is the latest of at least six political parties that Dr Jeffrey has joined and left in the last two decades.
Dr Jeffrey Kitingan also said recent attacks by KDM-based Barisan Nasional (BN) parties suggested a common fear over Star making its presence felt in Sabah.
"All this while they kept quiet about UBF's (United Borneo Front) promotion of the Borneo Agenda, but now that Star was launched with rousing publicity, they start attacking us," he said, adding the BN KadazanDusun-Murut parties were totally missing the point.
"The issue is not about Star or what party they are using as a platform, but the Borneo Agenda and challenged Upko, PBS and PBRS to attack the ideas and objectives behind the Borneo Agenda.
"Dare they say these objectives are bad for the people Sabah?" he asked.
Dr Jeffrey said the people are coming to Star not because of what party Star is or was, but because of its courageous objectives.
He said the people care less about the history of Star because what they want is a new future for Sabah.
"And they can see Star and the United Borneo Alliance (UBA) is the only serious promoter of this new vision."
He reaffirmed Star's offer to work with all parties who share these objectives and at the same time confirmed that discussions with several local parties are continuing behind the scene.
He said as a multiracial party, Star is seen as a fresh choice for the people who have been calling and coming to see him to express their support.
The party's gathering in Kampung Sinagang in Tenom last weekend, he said, was the first after the launching of Sabah Star Chapter on Jan 6, and that it saw hundreds of supporters attending.
Dr Jeffrey said the people are really waking up to the new idea of reformation in Borneo.