Jeffrey Kitingan

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Jeffrey Kitingan
Ministerial roles
1994–1995Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government
2020Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture
Ministerial roles (Sabah)
2018Deputy Chief Minister
2018Minister of Agriculture and Food Industries
2020–Deputy Chief Minister
2020–Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries
Other roles
2018–2019Leader of the Opposition of the
Sabah State Legislative Assembly
Personal details
Gapari bin Katingan @ Geoffrey Kitingan

(1948-10-22) 22 October 1948 (age 74)
Kota Marudu, Crown Colony of North Borneo (now Sabah, Malaysia)
Political partyPBS (1990–1995; 1996–2001)[1]
AKAR (1995–1996)[1]
PBRS (2001–2003)
PKR (2006–2011)[2][3][4]
STAR Sabah branch (2011–2016)[5]
STAR (2016–)[6]
Other political
Perikatan Nasional (PN) (2020-2022)
Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) (2016-)
Gabungan Sabah (GS) (2016-2018)
Gagasan Rakyat (GR) (1990-1996)
Barisan Nasional (BN) (2001-2003)
Pakatan Rakyat (PR) (2006-2011)
Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) (since 2020)
SpouseCecilia Edwin Kitingan
RelationsJoseph Pairin Kitingan (brother)
Maximus Ongkili (nephew)
James Peter Ongkili (nephew)
Alma materCurtin University
Jeffrey Kitingan
Faction represented in Dewan Rakyat
2018–2020Homeland Solidarity Party
2020–2022Perikatan Nasional
2022–Gabungan Rakyat Sabah
Faction represented in Dewan Negara
1994–1996Barisan Nasional
1996–1997United Sabah Party
Faction represented in Sabah State Legislative Assembly
1994United Sabah Party
1994–1996Barisan Nasional
1996–2001United Sabah Party
2001–2003Barisan Nasional
2013–2018State Reform Party
2018–2020Homeland Solidarity Party
2020–2022Perikatan Nasional
2022–Gabungan Rakyat Sabah

Jeffrey Gapari Kitingan (born 22 October 1948) is Malaysian politician. He has served as the Deputy Chief Minister II of Sabah since September 2020, in May 2018, State Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries of Sabah since September 2020 and State Minister of Agriculture and Industries of Sabah in May 2018 at the Sabah state level.

At the federal level, he served as the Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture from March 2020 to his resignation in September 2020 and Deputy Minister of Housing and Local Government from August 1994 to May 1995. He has served as Member of Parliament (MP) for Keningau since May 2018, Member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly (MLA) for Tambunan since May 2018 and Bingkor from May 2013 to May 2018. He has served and been founding President of the Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR), a component party of the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) and a former component party of the federal and state ruling Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition,[7] since July 2016.


He was born in the town of Kota Marudu but hailed in the interior district of Tambunan. He graduated with an Master of Public Administration[8] from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government.[9] He has a PhD awarded in 1984 from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy of Tufts University.[10] His brother, Joseph Pairin Kitingan served as the Chief Minister of Sabah from 1985 to 1994.

Political career[edit]

He is known to be a controversial politician, having been detained without trial under the Internal Security Act by the Barisan Nasional-controlled federal government on suspicion of plotting to secede Sabah from the federation of Malaysia, although his defenders argue that this was a politically motivated move.[9][11]

He is also known to have switched political parties a number of times. In 1990, he started his political career together with his brother Joseph Pairin Kitingan in Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). However, after the 1994 state election, he abandoned his brother and PBS to join Angkatan Keadilan Rakyat (AKAR) party, leading to the downfall of the PBS government in Sabah. He tried to climb to the top post of the AKAR party but failed and rejoined PBS in 1996. However, in 2000, he quit PBS again and joined Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), tried to take over the party but failed again.[12] He then quit the PBRS party in 2002 and tried to join United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO). However, he quickly withdrew his membership application from UPKO and tried to join back PBS again for the third time, but PBS did not welcome him back into the party. In 2003, he applied to join the United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) twice: one through UMNO headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, but was rejected. He then applied another membership through UMNO Keningau branch in Sabah using his legal name "Gapari bin Kitingan @ Geoffrey Kitingan" and was mistakenly accepted by UMNO. Jeffrey was able to produce his UMNO membership card. However, once the UMNO supreme council realised their error, they immediately revoked Jeffrey's membership.[12][13][14]

Jeffrey remained independent of any party until he was accepted into Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in 2006 where he became the vice-president of the party.[2] He resigned his vice-president post in 2009 but remained as a party member.[3] In December 2010, Jeffrey founded a NGO named United Borneo Alliance (UBA), which aimed to strive the rights of Sabah and Sarawak in accordance to 20-point agreement and Malaysia Agreement.[15] He finally quit the PKR party in January 2011.[4] In 2012, Jeffrey launched the Sabah chapter of Sarawak-based State Reform Party (STAR).[5] in 2015, he brought his UBA into United Sabah Alliance (USA),[16] just before he brought his Sabah chapter out of the Sarawak-based STAR to establish a Sabah-based party named Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR) in 2016.[6]

In the 2008 general election, he challenged his brother Tan Sri Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin from BN-PBS at the Keningau parliamentary constituency, but lost. Instead he won the Sabah State Legislative constituency of Bingkor.[17]

Jeffrey has been referred as political "frog" (katak in Malay) for his penchant of party hopping throughout his political career.[1][18] Jeffrey responded by commenting that party hopping has been the common practice in Sabah politics.[19] He defended himself that he switches parties in order to find the one that is suitable to fight for the rights of the Sabah people.[6]

2018 state election decision maker and subsequent results[edit]

Following the 2018 general election, the BN and the coalition of Pakatan Harapan (PH) with Sabah Heritage Party (WARISAN) are tied up with 29-29 seats in the 2018 Sabah state election.[20] Jeffrey with his party of Homeland Solidarity Party (STAR) under the United Sabah Alliance (USA) which are not aligned from either the two sides, has won two seats in the election and subsequently emerged as the decision maker for the formation of a state government from the two sides.[21] He then decide to team up with the BN to form coalition state government with him appointed as a Deputy Chief Minister while Musa Aman from BN continue to become the Chief Minister for another 5 years under the new coalition government.[22] His decision to maintain the position of BN in Sabah then drew many criticism from Sabahan residents who want to see a change under the administration of a new state government with many began to labelling him as a "traitor" towards the state,[23] especially when he was once a staunch opposition towards BN rule before the election.[23] It is also reported that before the election, Jeffrey has been issue with 7-days bankruptcy notice.[24] Following his sudden decision to work with BN, the Sabah branch of PKR has urged the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission (MACC) to probe the two individuals, citing a “possibility of money changing hands between the two” that could leading to a sudden political partnership.[25] Following the complaint, Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad announced that they will not recognise the election in Sabah if corruption involved.[26] Situation also change when six seats assemblymen from the BN allied party of UPKO switched their allegiance to WARISAN, giving the Shafie Apdal party an advantage with 35 seats which sufficient to establish a valid state government.[27] In addition, the Sabah Yang di-Pertua Negeri (TYT) Juhar Mahiruddin also had requested Musa to step down from his position,[28][29] as Musa current position has contravened the Article 7(1) of the Sabah State Constitution when he lost the total majority state seats.[30][31] On 14 May 2018, a letter from TYT are being delivered to Musa residence which stating that he is no longer the Chief Minister effective from 12 May 2018.[32][33]

During the 2020 Malaysian political crisis, Kitingan supported Mahathir Mohamad to be reinstated as Prime Minister after his resignation.[34]

2020 state election[edit]

In the 2020 Sabah state election, he agreed lead his party, STAR to joined Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) against Warisan Plus. This resulted in his party winning 6 seats in the state election, Jeffrey himself won the Tambunan seat. After winning the election, he was appointed as the Deputy Chief Minister II, serving with Datuk Bung Mokhtar as Deputy Chief Minister I and Datuk Joachim Gunsalam as Deputy Chief Minister III.

On the day of his appointment as Deputy Chief Minister II, he resigned as Deputy Minister of Tourism, Arts and Culture.[35]

Carbon credit deal[edit]

In late 2021, Mongabay reported that Kitingan was involved in a carbon credit deal that was signed in October 2021 that declared 2 million hectares as protected areas, without the consultation of indigenous peoples residing there.[36][37] Civil society groups and indigenous leaders were critical over the secrecy of the agreement and whether the carbon accrediting company, Hoch Standard, had prior experience to implement it.[38]

Personal life[edit]

Jeffrey is married to Cecilia Kitingan.

In January 2021, Jeffrey tested positive for COVID-19 and underwent treatment at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah.[39] Both Kitingan and his wife were recovered and discharged from hospital after about two weeks later.[40]

Election results[edit]

Parliament of Malaysia[41][42]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1995 P147 Bandau, Sabah Jeffrey Kitingan (AKAR) 5,851 34.98% Maximus Ongkili (PBS) 10,716 64.06% 16,927 4,865 69.72%
Jomilon Mojuntin (IND) 162 0.97%
2008 P180 Keningau, Sabah Jeffrey Kitingan (PKR) 10,334 40.53% Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS) 14,598 57.27% 25,956 4,264 72.96%
Peter Kodou (DAP) 560 2.20%
2013 Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR) 11,900 33.48% Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS) 15,818 44.50% 36,098 3,918 82.73%
Stephen Sandor (PKR) 7,825 22.02%
2018 Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR) 13,286 33.09%2 Jake Nointin (WARISAN) 13,241 32.98%2 40,671 45 79.02%
Daniel Kinsik (PBS) 12,742 31.74%2
Jius Awang (PCS) 433 1.08%
Maimin Rijan (IND) 248 0.62%
Justin Guka (IND) 199 0.50%
Table excludes votes for candidates who finished in third place or lower.
2 Different % used for 2018 election.
Sabah State Legislative Assembly[43]
Year Constituency Votes Pct Opponent(s) Votes Pct Ballots cast Majority Turnout
1994 N25 Bingkor, P156 Kinabalu Jeffrey Kitingan (PBS) 6,408 68.57% Injon Sedomon (PBRS) 2,249 24.07% 9,415 4,159 78.06%
Ayub Aman (IND) 688 7.36%
1999 N28 Bingkor, P157 Keningau Jeffrey Kitingan (PBS) 8,339 61.19% Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 4,871 35.75% 13,744 3,468 72.30%
Kuilan Anggau (BERSEKUTU) 395 2.90%
Peter Kodou (IND) 22 0.16%
2004 N37 Sook, P182 Pensiangan Jeffrey Kitingan (IND) 3,578 45.83% Joseph Kurup (PBRS) 3,973 50.90% 7,984 395 70.53%
Yapilin Nawawi (IND) 255 3.27%
2008 N33 Bingkor, P180 Keningau Jeffrey Kitingan (PKR) 4,418 47.51% Justin Guka (UPKO) 4,589 49.34% 9,455 171 70.88%
Uling Anggan (IND) 164 1.76%
Victor Leornadus (IND) 129 1.39%
2013 Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR) 5,350 42.05% Kennedy Jie John (UPKO) 4,894 38.47% 12,908 456 81.40%
Ahmad Shah Hussein Tambakau (PKR) 2,368 18.61%
Ricky Sedomon (IND) 111 0.87%
2018 N32 Tambunan, P180 Keningau Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR) 6,136 46.78% Joseph Pairin Kitingan (PBS) 5,099 38.86% 13,322 1,037 82.00%
Justin Alip (WARISAN) 1,427 10.88%
Nestor Joannes (PCS) 456 3.48%
2020 N39 Tambunan, P180 Keningau Jeffrey Kitingan (STAR) 8,691 75.21% Laurentius Nayan Yambu (UPKO) 1,899 16.44% 11,555 6,792 69.98%
Silverius Bruno (PBS) 439 3.80%
Damian Richard Marcus Podtung (PCS) 326 2.82%
Nordin Jaini (GAGASAN) 140 1.21%
Jimmy Palikat (IND) 60 0.52%


Honours of Malaysia[edit]

Kadazan, Dusun, Murut & Rungus (KDMR) tribes honours[edit]

  • Huguan Siou Lundu Mirongod (2016)
    • On 16 December 2016, Jeffrey Kitingan was given the title of Huguan Siou Lundu Mirongod[48] which means the brave paramount thinker of the tribe. The installation of this title was done by the keeper of the “Adat” and Traditions of the KadazanDusuns, Tindarama Bobolian Chief, OKK Ammann Sirom Simbuna OT Tarantab in Kota Belud. This is the second highest honours in the Tribe after Huguan Siou.


  1. ^ a b c Chin, Kin Wah (2004). Southeast Asian Affairs 2004. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 157. ISBN 9789812302380. Retrieved 10 May 2018. Jeffrey's political career is typical of what Sabahans referred to as katak (frog)
  2. ^ a b Tony, Thien (14 October 2006). "Jeffrey Kitingan speaks up as new PKR man". Malaysiakini. Archived from the original on 5 November 2006. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  3. ^ a b "PKR Sabah rocked as VP Jeffrey quits". The Sun Daily. 28 October 2009. Archived from the original on 3 August 2017. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  4. ^ a b Hisyamuddin, Ayub (4 January 2011). "Jeffrey sah keluar PKR (Jeffrey confirmed to quit PKR)". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Jeffrey Kitingan to Launch STAR Sabah". Bernama. Malaysian Digest. 4 January 2012. Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.{{cite news}}: CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  6. ^ a b c "Jeffrey ends his party-hopping days with STAR approval". The Star. 14 July 2016. Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  7. ^ "Sabah STAR quits Perikatan". The Star. 5 December 2022. Retrieved 5 December 2022.
  8. ^ "Harvard alumni database".
  9. ^ a b Marion B. Gammill (10 February 1992). "Kennedy School Graduate Held Prisoner". The Harvard Crimson. Archived from the original on 11 October 2007. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  10. ^ "Political Stability and Economic Development in Malaysia". ProQuest.
  11. ^ "MALAYSIA, Human Rights Undermined: Restrictive Laws in a Parliamentary Democracy" Archived 26 October 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Amnesty International. Accessed 20 March 2007.
  12. ^ a b James, Chin (2004). SABAH AND SARAWAK The More Things Change the More They Remain the Same. Singapore: Institute of Southeast Asian studies. Retrieved 11 May 2018. With such a colourful track record, it was no surprise that Sabah UMNO refused to take him, ...
  13. ^ "Adnan: Jeffrey not an Umno member". The Star. 29 May 2003. Archived from the original on 10 May 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018.
  14. ^ "Umno rejects Jeffrey's application". The Star. 6 June 2003. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  15. ^ "Jeffrey Kitingan forms United Borneo Front to get more for Sabah, Sarawak". Bernama. The Star. 16 December 2010. Archived from the original on 17 December 2010. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
  16. ^ "Opposition parties form United Sabah Alliance". Daily Express. 10 March 2015. Archived from the original on 12 April 2018. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  17. ^ "Malaysia elections: Opposition wave fails to win Sabah". The Star/Asia News Network. AsiaOne. 6 May 2013. Retrieved 13 January 2016.
  18. ^ Ung, Ho Chin (1999). Regime change and regime maintenance in Asia and Pacific - Discussion paper No 24 - "Kataks", Kadazan-Dusun nationalism and development: The 1999 Sabah state election (PDF). Australia: The Department of Political and Social Change - Research School of Pacific and Asian Studies The Australian National University. p. 15. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 March 2018. Retrieved 10 May 2018. The more prominent Kataks prior to the elections are listed below
  19. ^ Luke, Rintod (26 June 2012). "We are all frogs, even Musa and Pairin". Free Malaysia Today. Archived from the original on 4 July 2012. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  20. ^ Muguntan Vanar; Fatimah Zainal (10 May 2018). "Hung assembly in Sabah sees intense political horse-trading". The Star. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  21. ^ Alyaa Azhar (10 May 2018). "Hung assembly in Sabah, Star to be kingmaker". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  22. ^ Chok Simyee (10 May 2018). "Jeffrey forms pact with BN to form coalition state government". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  23. ^ a b Natasha Joibi (10 May 2018). "Sabahans call Jeffrey Kitingan a 'traitor' for helping BN form state govt". The Star. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  24. ^ Muguntan Vanar (25 April 2018). "Jeffrey Kitingan hit with seven-day bankruptcy notice". The Star. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  25. ^ Zurairi Ar (11 May 2018). "Sabah PKR wants MACC to probe Musa Aman, Jeffrey Kitingan". The Malay Mail. MSN. Archived from the original on 11 May 2018. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  26. ^ Geraldine Tong (11 May 2018). "PM: We will not recognise polls in Sabah if corruption involved". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 11 May 2018.
  27. ^ Avila Geraldine; Norasikin Daineh (11 May 2018). "Warisan now has 35 seats, enough to form state government: Shafie [NSTTV]". New Straits Times. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  28. ^ Rodelio Junjun Taucan (12 May 2018). "Tun Juhar arah Musa letak jawatan". Utusan Malaysia (in Malay). Archived from the original on 12 May 2018. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  29. ^ Ruzaini Zulkepli (13 May 2018). "Warisan tidak akan sama dengan UMNO - Shafie Apdal" (in Malay). Astro Awani. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  30. ^ Suraini Andokong (13 May 2018). "Shafie's appointment constitutionally valid – lawyer". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  31. ^ "Constitution of the State of Sabah [LIST OF AMENDMENTS]". State Government of Sabah. Retrieved 13 May 2018.
  32. ^ "Istana serah surat kepada Musa" (in Malay). Berita Harian. 14 May 2018. Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  33. ^ Samantha Khor (14 May 2018). "[BREAKING] Musa Aman Is No Longer Chief Minister Of Sabah". Retrieved 14 May 2018.
  34. ^ "Dr M publishes list of 115 MPs, hopes Agong will accept". Malaysiakini. 29 February 2020. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  35. ^ Hassan, Assim (29 September 2020). "Jeffrey Kitingan confirms resignation as deputy minister". Astro AWANI. Retrieved 6 January 2021.
  36. ^ "Bornean communities locked into 2-million-hectare carbon deal they don't know about". Mongabay Environmental News. 9 November 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  37. ^ "Malaysian officials dampen prospects for giant, secret carbon deal in Sabah". Mongabay Environmental News. 10 February 2022. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  38. ^ "Indigenous leader sues over Borneo natural capital deal". Mongabay Environmental News. 17 December 2021. Retrieved 14 February 2022.
  39. ^ Vanar, Muguntan (4 January 2021). "Jeffrey Kitingan tests positive for Covid-19". The Star. Archived from the original on 4 January 2021. Retrieved 5 January 2021.
  40. ^ Ida Lim (27 January 2021). "Here's the full list of Malaysia's ministers, lawmakers who tested Covid-19 positive in January". Malay Mail. Retrieved 28 August 2021.
  41. ^ "Keputusan Pilihan Raya Umum Parlimen/Dewan Undangan Negeri". Election Commission of Malaysia. Retrieved 18 May 2018. Percentage figures based on total turnout (including votes for candidates not listed).
  42. ^ "Sabah [Parliament Results]". The Star (Malaysia). Archived from the original on 17 May 2018. Retrieved 18 May 2018.
  43. ^ "N32 Tambunan". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 30 May 2020.
  44. ^ "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Retrieved 13 November 2021.
  45. ^ a b "Semakan Penerima Darjah Kebesaran, Bintang dan Pingat". Bahagian Istiadat dan Urusetia Persidangan Antarabangsa. Prime Minister's Department (Malaysia).
  46. ^ "Ismail Sabri, Hamzah Zainudin head list of 679 Sabah award recipients". The Star Online. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  47. ^ "Hamzah Zainudin, Ismail Sabri antara empat dapat Datuk Seri Panglima Sabah" (in Malay). Berita Harian. 2 October 2020. Retrieved 3 October 2020.
  48. ^ "Humbled Jeffrey Kitingan Installed 'Huguan Siou Lundu Mirongod' | Borneo Today".

Further reading[edit]