KUDAT April 21, 2012: Mutual respect and sincerity of all opposition political parties are the keys to a win-win election cooperation, said STAR Sabah chairman Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.
“I understand the concerns of the voting public as well as other opposition political parties in this coming polls as they all have one common objective – to change the current government. This is also our objective. But there must be an effective formula to achieve this objective,” he said in a speech to launch the Banggi STAR division at Kg Kanibongan near here yesterday.
He said all the talk about one-to-one contest can be achieved only if the opposition parties can negotiate about it rationally and objectively.
Jeffrey said he firmly believes that first of all, everything must be put in its proper perspective based on some guiding principles.
May I suggest the following:
- “Firstly, Pakatan Rakyat wants to form the Federal Government. UBA (United Borneo Alliance) supports this objective. How can PR and UBA work together? The answer is simple: Let PR focus on the 165 (75%) parliamentary seats in Peninsular Malaysia and let UBA contest in the remaining 25 percent seats in the Borneo States, that is, 25 seats in Sabah and 31 in Sarawak. This formula should be acceptable on the following basis. PR is already contesting in at least 75 percent of the 222 seats in Parliament. So, why would PR want to contest on the remaining seats of 25 percent in the Borneo States unless they are greedy and have the same motive as UMNO?
- “Secondly, PR has pledged to give back the autonomy of Sabah and Sarawak. If this is genuinely their intention then they should not contest in the Borneo States but should allow and support the Borneo-based political parties under the UBA to contest against the BN. If PR insists on contesting in Sabah/Sarawak we can only know that their intention of giving the autonomy is not sincere but merely a political gimmick.
- “Thirdly, the seats allocated to Sabah and Sarawak are meant to protect their rights and position in Malaysia. If PR takes the Borneo States, we would automatically lose the state’s bargaining position as a third force and will end up in the same position as under UMNO.”
As such, Jeffrey, who is also chairman of the UBA, a coalition of Borneo-based political parties, said that if this kind of genuine cooperation materializes the people can be assured of a change of government with UBA throwing its full support to PR in the coming polls.