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SakSaMa: Failing PBS tottering on brink of irrelevance

 | July 31, 2016

PBS was never itself again after the Sabah Government it led was toppled in 1994 through defections. The party, in hindsight, should have stayed together after two assemblymen defected, but it didn't.

ongkili parin

KOTA KINABALU: SakSaMa, a newly-formed opposition alliance, has dismissed the changing of the guard at the Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) on Friday as coming too little, too late.

“The Opposition is getting its act together. It will be tough for PBS unless it delivers at least on the RCI Report to stay relevant,” said Jack Giau, Secretary-General of the Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (SakSaMa) in a telephone interview.

PBS doesn’t even mention the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), he added. “There could be no greater indication of its failure and irrelevance.”

If PBS is not about RCI and MA63, he wants to know, what’s it about? “The illegal immigrants in Sabah are going to bury the Orang Asal if the RCI Report is not implemented.”

He reckons that PBS was never itself again after the Sabah Government it led was toppled in 1994 through defections. The party, in hindsight, should have stayed together after two assemblymen defected, but it didn’t.

Giau goes through the toll.

After Akar broke away earlier and the Sabah Progressive Party (Sapp) just before the 1994 state election, there were two other breakaways, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS), the latter now known as United PasokMomogun KDM Organisation (Upko). PBS President Joseph Pairin Kitingan failed to re-unite the parties.

“Pairin should have resigned when his government fell in 1994,” said Giau. “That’s what a democratic leader would have done.”

“Instead, he stayed around too long and degenerated into a toothless old tiger. In 1984, he was hailed as the ‘Lion of Tambunan’.”

Pairin, noted Giau, wasn’t even staying around long enough now to see some progress on the RCI Report on Illegal Immigrants. “There’s speculation that he gave up the PBS Presidency on Friday because his proposal for a Sabah IC was rejected.”

Two other speculation, continued Giau, is that Pairin was “ailing”, but the more “credible” theory is that he’s “sick of it all” in the wake of the RCI Report. “Whatever the speculation, the RCI Report means the last rites for PBS.”

Since Pairin is leaving after overstaying his welcome, argued the SakSaMa Secretary-General, Acting President Maximus Jonity Ongkili will witness the last rites for the PBS. “Ongkili should not even bother taking over the PBS presidency.”

PBS would be riding high today, stressed Giau, if it did not make that fateful decision in 2002 to re-join the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition and compound its earlier strategic errors. “Then BN Chairman Mahathir Mohamad, after having thundered that the BN’s doors were closed forever, re-admitted PBS.”

“If PBS continued to win seats in elections after that, it was by default, as the opposition was virtually non-existent.”

Now that the Opposition in Sabah was finally getting its act together, reiterated Giau, PBS’ days are numbered.

“Pairin should not have patched up with a man who stands accused of padding the electoral rolls in Sabah with illegal immigrants armed with MyKads.”

PBS was truly lost that day, summed up Giau.


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