‘Marital troubles’ in Sabah Opposition alliance

BY JULIA CHAN
Parti Cinta Sabah president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (right) said he is standing by the joint agreement that the forum should be inspected by a public, instead of by a select committee. — Picture via Facebook/Angkatan Perubahan Sabah-Official page

KOTA KINABALU, March 7 — Sabah’s local Opposition front may be undergoing a “domestic quarrel” but the United Sabah Alliance (USA) is not headed for divorce yet with elections on the cards.

Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing said he was only airing his grievances after his counterpart from Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku (Sabah STAR), Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, sought to override their alliance agreement by submitting a report to the state government  Sabah rights review committee.

“There was a stand made by USA to boycott the committee and everyone had signed a joint agreement but he had gone ahead and submitted a letter using the name of a non political group ‘MySabah’,” Bumburing told Malay Mail Online when contacted today, referring to Kitingan.

“We in Parti Cinta Sabah are not happy with him, so we will bring it up. But no we are not leaving. This is just a domestic problem.

Bumburing had likened the situation to that of a husband and wife “quarrelling over a bad meal”, adding that it is not grounds for divorce.

“With good spirit of comradeship, anything can be sorted out,” he said.

The Sabah Rights review committee chaired by Special Tasks Minister Datuk Teo Chee Kang had in January invited all political parties to present their views to be tabled into one report that will be the basis of autonomy talks with Putrajaya.

USA — consisting of PCS, Sabah STAR and Sabah Progressive Party — along with Parti Warisan Sabah and Parti Amanah Sabah were absent from the hearing.

Bumburing said he is standing by the joint agreement that the forum should be inspected by a public, instead of by a select committee.

Earlier today, the local Daily Express reported Bumburing as questioning Kitingan’s stance with the alliance and blamed him for affecting the integrity of USA.

“I am wondering now what will happen to the pact,” he was quoted saying.

Sabah Progressive Party president Datuk Yong Teck Lee also played down the dispute, saying there was “nothing to settle”.

Meanwhile, Bumburing said that PCS, at least was still open to talks with national-based opposition parties particularly Parti Warisan Sabah — led by former Umno vice president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal — and claimed that the USA pact has not made a stand against doing so.

“We are still open to talks with Parti Warisan. We hope for their cooperation,” he said.