UCA News



Updated: February 11, 1990 05:00 PM GMT
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Support Asia's largest network of Catholic journalists and editors
Share this article :

Jeffrey Kitingan, director of the Sabah Foundation, has been arrested and charged on seven counts of corruption involving more than M$1 million (US$370,000).

He is the brother of Sabah Chief Minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan, the only Catholic chief minister in Malaysia. Jeffrey Kitingan was charged in the Sessions Court here Jan. 23 and released on M$1 million bail with M$50,000 deposited in two local sureties.

Sessions Court Judge Idrus Harun ordered that Kitingan´s passport be impounded and held in the custody of the Anti-Corruption Agency.

Upon application by the prosecution, the judge ordered the case transferred to the High Court.

The Sabah Foundation was set up by the Sabah state government in 1966 with various welfare aims. Kitingan was appointed director in 1985.

Opposition parties are calling for Jeffrey Kitingan´s dismissal or suspension but Chief Minister Kitingan declared Jan. 31 that the question of removing his brother as Sabah Foundation director did not arise at the moment, referring to similar cases in which prominent personalities in peninsular Malaysia were not dismissed until proven guilty.

The charges against Kitingan follow allegations that he received money or shares in shipping companies as an inducement for showing favor by assisting certain companies in the carriage of logs for the Sabah Foundation.

He is alleged to have received these favors through businessman Freddy Lim Nyuk Sang, who has been detained for alleged economic sabotage under Malaysia´s Internal Security Act.

This report was confirmed in Parliament by Deputy Home Affairs Minister Megat Junid Megat Ayob.

Jeffrey Kitingan, 42, joined the civil service as a clerk with the state veterinary department in 1968. Following a series of posts in Sabah state departments and further studies in Australia and the United States, he was appointed director of the foundation.

As Director of the Sabah Foundation and its investment arm, Innoprise Corporation, Kitingan reportedly became one of the most influential people in Sabah, after his brother the chief minister.

Sources in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah´s capital, say people are not surprised by the arrest as there has been widespread corruption in the state for many years.

Many people however, reportedly admire Kitingan for his efficiency as Sabah Foundation director, his outspokenness on political issues and the role he plays in fostering rural development.


Support UCA News...

As 2020 unfolds, we are asking readers like you to help us keep Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) free so it can be accessed from anywhere in the world at no cost.

That has been our policy for years and was made possible by donations from European Catholic funding agencies. However, like the Church in Europe, these agencies are in decline and the immediate and urgent claims on their funds for humanitarian emergencies in Africa and parts of Asia mean there is much less to distribute than there was even a decade ago.

Forty years ago, when UCA News was founded, Asia was a very different place - many poor and underdeveloped countries with large populations to feed, political instability and economies too often poised on the edge of collapse. Today, Asia is the economic engine room of the world and funding agencies quite rightly look to UCA News to do more to fund itself.

UCA News has a unique product developed from a view of the world and the Church through informed Catholic eyes. Our journalistic standards are as high as any in the quality press; our focus is particularly on a fast-growing part of the world - Asia - where, in some countries the Church is growing faster than pastoral resources can respond to - South Korea, Vietnam and India to name just three.

And UCA News has the advantage of having in its ranks local reporters that cover 22 countries and experienced native English-speaking editors to render stories that are informative, informed and perceptive.

We report from the ground where other news services simply can't or won't go. We report the stories of local people and their experiences in a way that Western news outlets simply don't have the resources to reach. And we report on the emerging life of new Churches in old lands where being a Catholic can at times be very dangerous.

With dwindling support from funding partners in Europe and the USA, we need to call on the support of those who benefit from our work.

Click here to find out the ways you can support UCA News. You can make a difference for as little as US$5...
UCAN Donate
Thank you. You are now signed up to our Daily Full Bulletin newsletter
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia
UCA News Catholic Dioceses in Asia