KOTA KINABALU: Six former Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) leaders, who left the party together with their supporters earlier this week, have joined the United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) today.
The group was led by former PBRS secretary-general and deputy speaker Johnson Tee who announced that he and the five former divisional chairmen, Handry Luaran (Tamparuli), Suhardi Suyatin (Sukaman), Doison Dansi (Tandek), Ukoh Jeremy Malajad (Tempasuk) and Paiman @ Nordin Galimbu (Kundasang) are joining Upko along with all former divisional committee members, including the Youth and Women wings, as well as the majority of the PBRS members in their respective divisions.
“We have come to a decision that in the best interest of the Kadazandusun Murut Rungus (KDMR) community and for the sake of achieving full KDMR unity with political will and under one political entity, Upko should be the party that we should join.
“I therefore call upon leaders and members of the KDMR community, especially those who are still in PBRS, to join us in our quest for KDMR unity and to join Upko.
“We have been subjected to a divide-and-rule tactic in the previous administration and now is the time under this new government for us to unite together and be empowered through our participation in Upko,” said Tee in a statement.
It is understood that there would be several more defections from PBRS.
However, Tee maintained that he did not influence them to leave PBRS but they had left on their own accord and decided to join Upko.
PBRS pulled out from BN on May 12 after the coalition’s defeat by Pakatan Harapan (PH) at the federal level. In Sabah, BN lost the election to an alliance formed by Parti Warisan Sabah and PH.
Kurup said the party had applied to join PH. However, Sabah PH chairman Christina Liew said she had not received any application from PBRS.