Kitingan: Controversial campaign 'a step towards political maturity'

Tue, 05 Oct 2010 10:13

By Luke Rintod

KOTA KINABALU: PKR vice-president Jeffrey Kitingan has praised the intense campaigning in the party's polls here as well as in peninsular as 'a step towards political maturity.

'"Stiff competition for elected positions is good for PKR. This indicates the rising popularity of PKR.

"We in PKR do not condone nor promote any kind of violence and it is not our culture to do so, but when you have a popular party like PKR, everyone wants to be part of it," he said defending the freewheeling PKR polls.

The chaotic party elections in Sabah grabbed attention here and became topic of discussion among locals with one local newspaper carrying critical views of the affair.

On Sunday a local veteran politician, Fred Edwin Lojingki, 69, blamed PKR supremo Anwar Ibrahim for what he called "bad political cultures being promoted in the party", while at the same time taking to task Sabah politicians who were silent on the politicking.

Responding to Lojingki, Kitingan admitted that campaigning could lead to intense scrutiny by supporters of candidates which could at times get out of hand.

He said this was especially so as this is the first time PKR held its direct voting where all members are eligible to vote.

In Malaysia, PKR is the first political party to have successfully amended its constitution to allow the landmark 'one-member, one-vote' system, replacing the old way of a representative or a delegate system of electing party leaders.

Lawyer wins in Penampang

"We in PKR will learn a lot from this experience and are confident of improving the process as we move into the future.

"The public should look at recent happening as a positive development, and as a new opening for a political culture of empowering the members to directly elect their own leaders.

"As long as they don't break the law we should keep an open mind. In time, this new political culture of empowering members will reach political maturity for both leaders and members," Kitingan said.

Meanwhile in the tussle for the top post for Penampang division yesterday, lawyer Darrel Leiking won by a 90 vote majority. He polled 325 votes beating three other contenders namely Brett Chua (235 votes), Roland Chia (199) and Innocent Makajil (19).

Innocent however had earlier withdrawn from the poll amidst allegation of irregularities and had lodged a police report. FreeMalaysiaToday....