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Work on being relevant, not attacking SakSaMa, PBS told

 | August 3, 2016

Secretary-general of opposition alliance chides PBS leader for stooping to name-calling in response to Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa's 'emergence' in Sabah.


KOTA KINABALU: Gabungan Rakyat SakSaMa (SakSaMa), a newly-formed opposition alliance, has advised Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) leaders against degenerating into name-calling in response to its “emergence” in Sabah.

“There’s no need to get personal and offensive,” said SakSaMa Secretary-General Jack Giau, registering his displeasure with PBS Secretary-General Johnny Mositun in particular.

“SakSaMa is a movement of the Gen Y, and a response to Gen X politicians outstaying their welcome.”

Mositun lashed out at SakSaMa on Tuesday as a party made up of “political has-beens and election losers, if not political rookies”.

He appeared to have been annoyed by Giau recently for dismissing PBS as a failing party tottering on the brink of irrelevance.

The SakSaMa chief reminded Mositun that he qualified his earlier statement, in response to PBS President Joseph Pairin Kitingan virtually throwing in the towel, by accepting that the party can remain relevant if it at least helps implement the recommendations from the Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) Report on Illegal Immigrants.

“The Sabah IC is the minimum acceptable formula for the way forward on the illegal immigrant phenomenon in Sabah.

“It’s no secret either that PBS has been silent on the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) ever since longtime Borneo rights activist Jeffrey Kitingan was released from ISA detention in 1994,” Giau said.

Questioning PBS’ commitment to the RCI Report and MA63, Giau said Mositun has to explain to the people of Sabah what PBS was all about.

“It’s no use flogging Pairin’s previous speeches on this and that as evidence of some sort of achievement.”

Pairin’s past speeches, he added, were short on achievements and more on expressions of intent, “more form than substance”.

“We need leaders who have their feet firmly planted on the ground. We need leaders who are about substance, not form,” Giau said.

Giving an update on the political situation in Sabah since Pairin’s decision last Friday to hand over the party reins to his nephew and deputy Maximus Jonity Ongkili, Giau cautioned PBS against flattering itself.

He referred to Mositun announcing on Sunday that the Sabah Assembly would soon pass a Bill to increase the number of state seats by 13 to 73.

“Mositun himself isn’t sure where the seats would be. At the same time, the Election Commission (EC) in Sabah announced on Tuesday that it wants to learn from its counterpart in Sarawak on how to carve out new seats.”

Giau believes that if the Sarawak formula is applied in Sabah, then the 13 proposed new state seats will most likely be created in the 31 state seats presently held by Umno.

“This would be another act of betrayal by PBS if it happens to be true. It compounds the party’s sins on the RCI Report and MA63.”

Looking back at Sabah’s state assembly history, Giau pointed out that there were 48 state seats, 20 representing the Kadazan-Dusun-Murut (KDM) community, 20 Muslim and eight Chinese.

“After the PBS Government was toppled in 1994, beginning with the defection of two assemblymen, the EC increased the 20 Umno state seats in Sabah by another 12,” he said, adding that there were no increases in KDM and Chinese seats.

“The next round of constituency delineations will see PBS and the other two KDM parties, that is Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) and United PasokMomogun KDM Organization (Upko) becoming history if they are caught napping on the matter.”



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