I managed to speak with Dr. Jeffrey Kitingan on the phone this morning to get his reaction to the Supreme Council decision last night to suspend 3 of the 12 Sabah PKR divisional leaders involved in the aborted move to register Parti Cinta Sabah last December.
HI : This latest development of suspending 3 and letting off 9. Some people are suggesting that this is as a result of a compromise between Ketua Umum PKR and yourself. Would you care to comment on this?
JK : Not true. As far as I am concerned, I stood my ground that all this was unnecessary as we had made a decision earlier to compromise and to reconcile. They have decided and I have accepted the decision.
HI : I asked you the last time we spoke and I said then that I would ask you this question again after the Supreme Council decision. Where do you go from here, given the decision yesterday?
JK : The decision has been made. I have to accept that. Now we continue the struggle to strengthen the party and our efforts to change the government.
HI : The agenda to displace BN come the 13th GE is still on course?
JK : Yes
HI : How do you see the decision impacting PKR in Sabah?
JK : Of course there will be disappointment but it will have to be explained that this is the decision of the party and that the people affected can appeal and that the people affected can still contest. I think that is the best thing.
HI : You are supposing that because the decision yesterday may be appealed immediately and that if on appeal, the 3 are let off completely or with a lighter sentence, they would not be barred from contesting? Is that correct?
JK : Yes.
HI : When will the appeal be heard and considered?
JK : They will fix a special session.
HI That is expected to be held before the election process closes so that they will not be barred from contesting?
JK : Yes
HI : Is there anything you wish to add?
JK : Now that this is over, I hope that it will not be brought up again. I hope that everyone concerned will be the wiser arising from this. We have to look at the bigger picture. We have to be able to look at other views. In this case, as I presented it, the party should have looked at the whole picture and taken into consideration that as a compromise had earlier been made, since that was the path the party took at that time, and that much time had past since then, this complaint could have been dealt with in a different way. I think the problem was that there was no communication in between.
HI : I go back to another question I asked you the last time. Having now gone through this process, was this, in your view, a move by certain quarters to undermine your position in PKR Sabah?
JK : Well, I think that obviously this was the move. Otherwise, this ought not to have arisen, especially at a time when the party is having elections.
HI : Thank you and all the best
JK : Thank you.