KOTA KINABALU: Parti Solidariti Tanahairku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan has accused certain parties of having a hidden motive after a notice of bankruptcy was issued against him close to nomination day on Saturday.
The notice, which appeared in two local dailies today, was issued by one Lee Yau Cheong @ James for a sum of RM480,489.40.
Jeffrey was given seven days to pay after the notice was served, in line with the Sessions Court’s judgment here on March 9 this year. The notice itself is an order of the High Court of Sabah and Sarawak.
Speaking to FMT today, Jeffrey said he had instructed his lawyers to set aside the notice on the grounds that he was never told of the notice until a few days ago.
“I am surprised because this thing came out of nowhere. This person said I owe him money. So, I asked him to give me the documents because he cannot simply say I owe him without providing the relevant documents,” he said.
Furthermore, he found it strange that the issue only came to light a few days ago.
He said Lee or his party had “suddenly come up” with the allegation and claimed they had gone to his office to serve the notice but had to leave because there was nobody there.
“I disagree with that because they actually never came to my office. But whatever it is, we have applied to the court to set aside the notice,” he said.
Jeffrey, who is also Bingkor assemblyman, said it was normal for some people or parties to come up with outrageous claims to disturb other people’s preparations for the election.
“This will not affect STAR or me in any way, as far as the election is concerned. The notice is just a preliminary notice and even after the election is over, it is uncertain if the case will ever proceed. This is why I know these people are just trying to disrupt me in my preparations,” he said.
Jeffrey, whose party is a member of the local opposition coalition Gabungan Sabah, is not the first leader to be served with a notice of bankruptcy.
Last year, another Gabungan Sabah leader, Lajim Ukin, who heads Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah, was declared a bankrupt after failing to pay a RM185,000 debt. He was discharged as a brankrupt just one week after paying off the debt to the Insolvency Department.
He said the debt was over a CIMB bank loan for a Range Rover vehicle, which he had sold to a friend shortly after the 2013 general election.
The bankruptcy had caused Lajim to lose his position as party president. However, he received the endorsement of the party members to be party president again about a month later at the party’s first annual general meeting.