A former associate of PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan is of the view that Jeffrey Kitingan is 'carrying the crosses' of its leaders' misdeeds.
Fredoline Edwin Lojingki, 71, believes that Pairin, 72, is worried that he and his party might lose in the coming general election.
He said Pairin’s recent labelling of his younger brother Jeffrey as liar was a “manifestation of his desperation” to cling to a fast disappearing aura”, especially with the younger generation of Sabahans.
Jeffrey helms the surging State Reform Party (STAR) whose backbone supporters are Sabahans who are under 40. The party claims it has 175,000 members and has made significant inroads into Kadazandusun and Murut (KDM) areas which were once PBS and Upko strongholds. Both PBS and Upko are Barisan Nasional allies.
The party is aiming to contest in 30 state and in at least 12 parliamentary seats, one of which is Pairin’s Keningau constituency. Pairin has held it for over 30 years and will face Jeffrey once again in the 13th general election.
Said Lojinki, who is now a STAR member: “As a veteran political activist who has been with Pairin for very long years, including when we were both members of Pekemas, an opposition party in the 1960s and 1970s, I cannot but comment on Pairin bashing his own younger brother.
“The sudden outburst by Pairin against Jeffrey, including labelling him a liar, speaks volume of his disappointment and paranoia at the shifting support to his younger brother’s struggle.
“Pairin must be so desperate now to cling to the power he had taken for granted by supporting Umno.”
Lojingki, who also claimed to have worked for the late Peter Mojuntin, a revered Kadazandusun leader, in the 1960s and 1970s, said it was not a noble virtue for a Huguan Siou (Kadazandusun paramount chief) to act the way Pairin did lately.
“If people are running away from a leader or his party, there must be valid reasons. A stable leader should not make others a scapegoat for his own weaknesses… he should not accuse his opponent of being a liar.
“If we audit the speeches of all the leaders, especially BN leaders, including Pairin himself, all these years, we will be surprised that they have uttered thousand of lies thousand of times to Sabahans.
“Ask the people in Keningau… and you will understand,” he said.
‘PBS leader blinded by position’
Lojingki also slammed PBS vice-president Radin Malleh for chastising Jeffrey using the KDM curse word “ausung”.
“Let me remind Radin that the word would haunt him forever as Jeffrey was the one who planted the ‘fruit trees’ that Sabah and PBS leaders are now reaping.
“I am confident that given a chance, Jeffrey would be a much better chief minister than any of the Umno’s leaders, including Radin and Pairin,” he said.
He also accused PBS leaders of being blinded by positions.
“I am an old man and to me Jeffrey is carrying our crosses all these years including Pairin and Radin’s.
“Jeffrey has been speaking for the reinstatement of Sabah and Sarawak rights for 30 years now. I don’t think any sane people would agree with Radin for accusing Jeffrey of doing this for his own interest,” he said.