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TAMBUNAN, Sept 29, 2018:

Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan is now ready to step down as the premier leader of Parti Bersatu Sabah, the party he founded 33 years ago.

The transition period began today when he passed the baton of PBS Tambunan Division Chief to PBS Vice President Datuk Daniel Kinsik during their annual general meeting, here.

Next, Kitingan is expected to handover leadership of PBS to the new team led by his loyal deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili come the party congress in November.

“These are capable leaders and I call on all members to support the new leadership and reclaim our past glory.

“The future successes (of PBS) is dependent on all of us as members and downline leaders, maju ke hadapan dan jangan ragu-ragu (move forward and never doubt,” he said.

Kitingan stressed that PBS’ struggle of multiracial politics is noble, inclusive and sustainable, which will never get outmoded.

“We have proven that the over three decades of PBS’ existence that multiracial political struggle is permanent, it has no expiry period.

“As the founder of this party, I urge everyone in PBS to continue with our struggles, treasure the struggle and persist in it. Don't give up,” Kitingan advised.

He added that the word "Bersatu" in the party name, which literally means unity, is indeed a great word, so much so that even a West Malaysian party has now popularised the word.

“This party is very sentimental to me. We have seen the party’s ups and downs, and although we have gone through many challenges, Parti Bersatu Sabah must continue. 

“We must bear in mind that Malaysians and Sabahans need us to champion their rights and basic needs,” he said.

As such, to be permanently relevant, PBS must reinvent and be grassroots based.

“So turun padang (go down to the ground), recruit new members, train new leaders, speak up for their rights and needs, and fight against injustices.

“Unity is crucial, especially within the party and the people, both leaders and team. Continue our pursue and preserve the existing unity amongst us,” Kitingan said.

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