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Upko’s tradition to leapfrog — Max


KOTA MARUDU: “Upko made us opposition,” said Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, referring to the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation’s (Upko) decision to pull out of Barisan Nasional (BN) and join the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government after the 14th general election.

He, however, further disclosed that Upko’s move was not suprising because since the party’s formation in the 1960s, its leaders had somehow inculcated the leap frogging culture.

The Upko legacy of leap frogging began just a couple of years after its formation when the party left the Sabah Alliance in 1967.

After the state election, then Upko’s assemblyman for Kiulu, Datuk Payar Juman, crossed to Usno, thereby enabling the party to form the government then.

Its second betrayal again happened in 1994 when its former president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok leapt from then opposition PBS, revived Upko, and joined the BN alliance to form the government.

Fast forward 14 years later, Upko repeated history by ditching BN to join Parti Warisan Sabah to form the state government.

“This is so unbecoming of Upko. It is a terrible example for young politicians who want to be part in principled politics and leave a legacy for the generation to come,” said Ongkili, addressing members during the opening of PBS PDM Teringai annual general meeting in Matunggong, here, on Friday.

He called on PBS supporters and members to prevail, stick to the party’s struggle which had been proven to be noble and continue to defend Sabahans.

“Upko’s move is totally against the alliance forged with PBS and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah where during our joint presidential council, we pledged to work harder together and fight our common enemy to ensure victory for BN in GE14.

“This arrangement was endorsed by the three parties’ supreme councils. Unfortunately, it meant nothing to Upko and it was obvious that their action now is more of personal interest, and this is more important than the rights and future of the Sabah native voters,” he asserted.

Nevertheless, Ongkili said PBS and its remaining partners would continue to fight and speak for Sabah and Sabahan rights, including on pressing matters such as the large presence of illegal immigrants, ownership of native lands, social-economic development of the multi-racial Sabah of people.

“We in PBS have proven our sincerity over the years. Despite all challenges, which made us the opposition twice, we have shown that since the party’s formation over three decades ago that we are fearless, sincere and will not abandon the struggle for the good of our people,” he said.-Borneo Post

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