KENINGAU: There is no place in Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) for those who wish to use the party only as a means to procure a “Yang Berhormat” title for themselves, says its acting president Dr Maximus Ongkili.
He said a potential candidate must first earn the respect and trust of the PBS leadership and prove that he or she was a winnable candidate for Barisan Nasional.
“(But) If you join a political party just for the sake of wanting to be a candidate, then PBS is not for you.
“We have bigger goals, because the party struggle is more than just a platform for aspiring leaders who have short term goals,” he said when meeting the Liawan PBS division, here, today.
The energy, green technology and water minister said there were many members who wanted to become candidates.
“Like in all political parties, there are those who harbour an incurable obsession with becoming election candidates. But there are limited seats available, so potential (candidates) need to be patient and play their roles accordingly.
“One needs to be patient and true to the party’s struggles. Eventually, your turn will come,” said Ongkili, who is Kota Marudu MP.
Ongkili is currently leading the party after Joseph Pairin Kitingan handed him the reins in January this year. Pairin will remain deputy chief minister until the end of the current state assembly’s term.
“Take party president Joseph Pairin Kitingan as an example. He has expressed his intention not to stand in the next general election. He is making way for a new person to take up the responsibility.
“Earn your place in order to become winnable candidates. There is party protocol, as well as requirements of loyalty to the party,” he said, alluding to former PBS youth chief Jake Jikulin Nointin and a few other members, who left the party on Friday.
Ongkili gave his assurance that PBS remained steadfast in fulfilling its political struggle and party objectives, and said that while there had been no change in direction, a reinvention in the party’s approach was obvious.
“We have been more aggressive in pursuing the party’s objectives, especially in the area of safeguarding and protecting the state’s rights, sovereignty and security.
“We also want to ensure balanced development between the peninsula and here, particularly in the rural areas,” he said in dismissing Nointin’s claim that PBS had made no progress in this respect.
“His exit, together with five other branch leaders, however, has had no effect on the Liawan PBS division. The division will continue (to function) and there are more than enough local leaders to fill the posts vacated by them,” Ongkili said.
He also said Nointin and his supporters had yet to officially submit their resignation letters to the PBS headquarters.
“We are monitoring the current movements in the Liawan division, to see who leaves and stays, and will let PBS secretary-general Johnny Mositun to temporarily handle the coordination of the division and branches.”
According to Ongkili, PBS had been observing Nointin’s recent movements, and was aware that he had been moving around Liawan, Bingkor and even Tambunan to carry out social and political programmes without informing the division chiefs in the respective areas.
“His action of consistently not informing division chiefs of his own programmes is totally disrespectful of PBS’ structure.”
Ongkili said Nointin should look in the mirror before criticising the party.
“Based on public feedback, he being PBS Youth chief was just ‘business as usual’, with the youth exco’s activities lacking in creativity, despite many ideas given by the party’s supreme council to strengthen their wing, including running training programmes and recruiting new members.
“There are many leaders in the existing line-up who can do better. That being said, we, in PBS, wish him all the best. For PBS, life must go on,” Ongkili said.