KOTA KINABALU: An Upko leader has questioned the logic behind PBS and STAR’s decision to form a new political pact with Umno when both parties had previously lamented they had been bullied by the peninsula-based party.
Its communications and multimedia chief Felix Saang said Upko is perplexed by the move to set up Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS).
“They have accepted working with Umno when all this while PBS and STAR have repeatedly said that they were bullied by Umno.
“Besides that, both parties (PBS and STAR) wanted to consolidate the political position of the Sabahan people and stated their stand on not wanting to follow Umno’s orders anymore,” he said here today.
He said Sabah Umno seemed to be playing tricks to fool the people of Sabah by not recognising the existence of Barisan Nasional in Sabah but still taking orders from the coalition at the federal level.
“For example, it was clear that the Sabah Umno chief Hajiji Md Noor was appointed by Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi after Salleh Said (former acting chief) was considered not suitable to lead Sabah Umno,” Saang said.
“Upko hopes Sabah Umno can explain how they can function without being dictated by Umno central.”
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan last week said the process to register GBS as an official opposition bloc in Sabah was in the final stages.
Hajiji said Umno was still part of BN at the national level but that BN was no longer a recognised pact in the state.
Besides Umno and STAR, PBS and other independent elected reps are also members of the GBS.
Saang said PBS’ decision to leave BN to form GBS proved Upko’s action to exit the former ruling coalition was right.
“However, no matter what PBS and STAR’s political platform is, Upko hopes they are really honest in their struggles to protect and uplift the status and rights of Sabahans.
“Upko congratulates PBS and STAR for finally not hiding behind their political conspiracies as before and publicly admitting their political pact which is the GBS,” he said.
Saang also took potshots at STAR, saying the latter was “great” at forming new political platforms considering the party had just left another opposition bloc called Gabungan Sabah.
“STAR had just previously formed Gabungan Sabah and has now left them to join GBS. STAR is famous for their ability to change their political directions at a quick and regular rate,” Saang said.
Besides STAR, Gabungan Sabah was made up of the Sabah Progressive Party, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah and Parti Perpaduan Rakyat Sabah.