Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Jeffrey denies 'sharing Sabah with Sulu Sultanate' claim

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Star President Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan denied an accusation levelled against him that he would consider sharing Sabah with the Sulu Sultanate.

The article which appeared on a blog owned by a NGO known as Solidariti Masyarakat Sabah (SMS) alleged that Jeffrey had made the statement during an interview which was done in February this year.

Jeffrey however said during the interview between him and the writer, SMS pro-tem president Musli Oli, he was only asked about the general security aspect of Sabah.

"I have never used the word 'kongsi' (share) during the short interview. I can even produce a witness who was with us in my office when the interview was done.

"This is an attempt to discredit my reputation and as we all know, our struggle for self-determination in Sabah is being hotly debated right now and the article aimed to threaten our supporters that this fight is dangerous if not futile," he said.

Jeffrey, who is also Bingkor Assemblyman, added that Musli only asked him about his thoughts on the Tanduo incident and how the situation should have been handled.

"The question of sharing Sabah with the Sulu Sultanate was never raised. If it had, I wouldn't have agreed," he said.

The article went viral on social media on Sunday and being shared even on the Sabah Sarawak Keluar Malaysia (SSKM) facebook page, generating hundreds of comments from both sides of the political divide.

The article quoted Jeffrey to have said that Sabah is a rich State and has enough resources to solve any problem.

Jeffrey was also quoted to have said 'We could negotiate with them without the use of force. If we had negotiated nicely and the situation could be handled wisely, such incident in Lahad Datu would not have happened.'

"Look at the supposed question where the word 'kongsi' was used and read my reply properly. Did I answer the question? Is there any connection? No! Because the question was about security and intrusion as well as the Sulu claim," he said.

Jeffrey continued that while he is not sure what Musli's motive in twisting such story, he suspected that it was an attempt to divert the people's attention from the issues at hand which is the people's demand for justice, rights and power.

"Nevertheless, I will be taking legal action against Musli and will make a police report soon because this is defamation and he must retract his statement," he said.

Meanwhile, in a reply to Jeffrey's comment on facebook, Musli said that Jeffrey did not deny the statement and it is up to the public how they perceived the matter.

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