KOTA KINABALU: Former Upko Youth chief Arthur Sen has told his former party to admit the truth about Upko’s exit from Barisan Nasional instead of repeatedly claiming it was for the benefit of the people.
“Stop manipulating Upko’s jump from Barisan Nasional to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan alliance as being the ‘aspirations of the people’.
“They must remember that all the seats won by Upko in GE14 had used BN flags and funds.
“Just admit to the public that Upko decided to leave BN as it was no longer in the federal government after GE14.
“This is a betrayal to those who voted for BN’s Upko candidates. Upko has put all its supporters and campaigners in a dilemma,” he said in a statement here today.
Sen was responding to Upko Youth information chief Dennison R Indang’s call recently for Sen to cease his attacks on Upko.
This followed Sen’s remarks that Chief Minister Shafie Apdal had insulted the intelligence of the people when he defended Upko acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau, saying Tangau was not a political frog.
Indang also hit back at Sen that he was the actual “frog”, referring to him joining PBS after leaving Upko.
Refusing to back down, Sen said Upko went on an onslaught, prior to GE14, on Warisan, PH and also Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad while also defending former prime minister Najib Razak.
“Please have some dignity. I’m sure that’s not an example or role model that he himself (Indang) or Upko wants to show to the younger generation.
“Perception towards Upko might be different if it had consulted the people first, especially the grassroots, before making any crucial decision instead of just within its Supreme Council.
“The public perception might be different too if Tangau himself didn’t take up any ministerial post. So, stop twisting the facts,” he said.
On him joining PBS, Sen retorted that he was not elected to office through the general election, hence Indang’s political frog analogy was inaccurate.
He also dismissed Indang’s allegations that he lost the majority support from Upko’s youth as mere assumptions.
“I was approached by a few youth divisional chiefs informing me of their support should I offer myself again for the post,” Sen said.
“In fact, Indang and his running partner had requested me to meet them when I was the youth chief. They asked me whether I was running for the post again and told me about their intention of running for the chief and deputy chief’s posts.
“Indang told me that initially he wanted Supreme Council member Felix Joseph, who was also going to contest the youth chief post, to appoint him as a secretary for the Upko Youth exco.
“But according to him, Felix did not commit and that was why he was going for the youth chief post.
“I told them I hadn’t decided yet on recontesting and asked them to carry on with their intentions, whether I contested or not, as we are living in a democratic country,” he said.