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Return to your political home, PBS urges Upko

KOTA KINABALU: A senior Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) leader today invited his former comrades to return to their “original political home”.

Kundasang assemblyman Dr Joachim Gunsalam said United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) leaders were being ignored and their defection to support the Shafie Apdal-led government was not being appreciated.

“You are just the ‘pendatang’ (migrants) there. It’s better for you all to come back to your original political home and comrades who gave you the platform, finance and support to win your seats,” said Gunsalam in a statement today.

He was responding to a report in which Upko deputy secretary-general Georgina George lambasted Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew for not acknowledging the critical role played by the party in the formation of the Sabah government when the latter tabled the motion in the special state assembly sitting on Monday. Upko’s Kuamut assemblyman Masiung Banah had wanted to put the record straight that Upko made huge sacrifices to help form the government, along with Warisan, PKR and DAP, and they should be given due recognition.

“This government would not have been formed if Upko did not sacrifice its principles. “People are also saying we did not play a big role. That must be corrected because this is history, or else Upko will be condemned and ridiculed,” Banah had said.

Gunsalam said once a party sacrificed his or her principles for short-term political gain, one will not earn the respect of the voting public, “what more your political partners of convenience”. “Come back to us in Gabungan Bersatu.

“Let us join forces to uphold the political struggle of dignified politics and together serve the Sabah people and defend their rights, as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)” he said.

Sabah Barisan Nasional is to be disbanded to pave the way for a new political platform, Gabungan Bersatu, spearheaded by PBS.

Gabungan Bersatu includes the existing Gabungan Sabah parties, namely STAR, the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP), Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah (PPRS).

Georgina, in a statement, had said it was disappointing that Liew, in her speech, had not even acknowledged the importance of Upko’s support to form the current Sabah government.

“She (Liew) has certainly forgotten that it was Upko which took the hard stance to leave BN and support Shafie to form the state government when Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) brought two assemblymen to support BN.”

George said for the Warisan-PH-Upko government to work, the first fundamental rule was respect and recognition of a partner’s contribution.

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