KOTA KINABALU: Star Sabah, a chapter of the Kuching-based State Reform party (Star), and the mother party have decided to part company.
This follows the decision of the mother party to re-brand itself as Sarawak Reform Party (Reform) under Lina Soo.
Soo has signed up as a member of the newly formed seven-party Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (GRS)
Star Sabah would no longer be a local chapter of a Sarawak party and would instead re-emerge as Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (Star), disclosed Star President Jeffrey Kitingan at a press conference in the Sabah capital on Thursday.
“Basically, we will have the same logo as Star in Sarawak except for the fact that it would be seven stars, instead of nine.
“Reform has its own logo.”
Jeffrey, who is also Bingkor assemblyman, said that the new Star’s unique format is that its membership would be open to other political parties, associations and NGOs.
“In that sense, we are already a coalition.
“Existing parties in Sabah can be united under Star and use the same logo to contest in the coming General Election, the 14th, in 2018.”
Jeffrey, who conceded that he has often been labelled the King of Frogs, lamented that in recent times, “detractors, troublemakers, traitors, from both within the ruling party and the Opposition” had chosen to question him in a bid to tarnish his struggle.
“My personal struggle, for so long, has been for the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) and the restoration of the status of Sabah and Sarawak as nations equal to Malaya in the Federation.”
Recent events, he added, have proven him right.
“However, Sabah’s position is no less inferior than that of Sarawak in the Federation.
“The Sabah Government, like the Sarawak Government, must demonstrate real leadership in seeking the restoration of the status of the nation.”
The Sabah Opposition strongman, who was once incarcerated under the draconian Internal Security Act (ISA) in the 1990s for his struggle for Sabah’s rights, appears to have taken a leaf from GRS, headed by his former key aide Phillip Among, who is also the president of the Malaysia United People’s Party (MUPP), a GRS member.
It is not known what will become of the United Sabah Alliance (USA) which, besides Jeffrey’s old Parti Star Sabah, had Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) and the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), headed by former Sabah Chief minister Yong Teck Lee, as members.
PCS was initiated by Jeffrey, through proxies, when he was still PKR vice-president.
However, those heading the party as the protem committee apparently refused to hand over the party to him when it was registered and was only willing to consider him as the patron, an offer he refused.
PCS has since been taken over by Tamparuli Assemblyman Wilfred Bumburing.
It has been learnt that before the new Star was registered, Jeffrey was considering joining MUPP and GRS.