Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Jeffrey Kitingan quits post in PKR

PKR vice-president Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan has quit his post, further clouding the leadership turmoil in the party here. He announced this late yesterday after meeting several hours with senior state party leaders.

“I’m quitting the post as I’ve lost confidence in the party’s leadership decision-making process in terms of decisions affecting Sabah,” he told The Star after the meeting.

“There appears to be no seriousness on the part of the party leadership in taking the views of Sabah PKR leaders. As such, I see no reason for me to remain in the party position,” he said, adding that he would be submitting his resignation letter today.

Asked if this move was a precursor for him to quit PKR, Dr Jeffrey said: “Don’t ask me that for now.”

Dr Jeffrey’s move to quit the post came just hours after he announced that he was rejecting his appointment to the party’s newly set up National Integration Council.

He had also said the PKR leadership’s move of making Sabahan Thamrin Zaini the state party chief was unacceptable as it ignored the wishes of the state party leaders.

Dr Jeffrey said he saw no reason for accepting the post in the council which he described as “something that was set up just to make us happy.”

PKR communications director Jonson Chong said on Sunday that the council had been set up to improve relations between Sabah, Sarawak and the peninsula.

Chong also announced that PKR vice-president Azmin Ali had been replaced by state party secretary Thamrin as Sabah PKR liaison chief.

The change came about after Dr Jeffrey disclosed two weeks ago that 18 Sabah PKR division chiefs had signed a memorandum submitted to PKR adviser Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim that Azmin be replaced with a local Sabah leader.

It was reported that Sabah PKR division leaders had suggested that Azmin be replaced as state party chief by either Dr Jeffrey, deputy chiefs Datuk Dr Hamzah Amir or Datuk Kong Hong Ming.

Yesterday, Dr Jeffrey said the request to change the state party chief was not meant to get any Sabahan to replace Azmin, stressing that he had nothing personal against Thamrin.

Instead, he said the party here needed a leader who had the backing of the divisions to galvanise support for PKR in Sabah.

“If we do things like other peninsula-based parties where decisions are made over that side, why should the people choose us? We must be reformed and be democratic,” he added.

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