Pairin steps down as PBS division head as succession plan begins

Joseph Pairin Kitingan is stepping down after founding PBS in 1985. (Bernama pic)

TAMBUNAN: Parti Bersatu Sabah founder Joseph Pairin Kitingan today stepped down as the party’s Tambunan division chief, giving way to vice-president Daniel Kinsik, ahead of the handover at the national level in November.

The passing of the baton to Kinsik marks the start of a transition process in which PBS deputy president Maximus Ongkili is set to lead the party at the next congress.

“These are capable leaders and I call on all members to support the new leadership and reclaim our past glory.

“The future success (of PBS) is dependent on all of us as members and downline leaders, move forward and never doubt,” Pairin said today.

Pairin paid tribute to the party’s three decades of existence, saying it has remained multiracial, inclusive and relevant.

“We have proven during the three decades of PBS’ existence that multiracial politics is permanent, it has no expiry period.

“Don’t give up,” said Pairin, who served as the Sabah chief minister from 1985 to 1994.

Pairin said the word “Bersatu” (united) in the party’s name was significant, adding that a West Malaysian party has now popularised the word.

“This party (PBS) is very sentimental to me. We have seen the party’s ups and downs, and although we have gone through many challenges, PBS must continue.

“We must bear in mind that Malaysians and Sabahans need us to champion their rights and basic needs,” he said.

He said PBS must reinvent itself to remain relevant.

“So turun padang (go down to the ground), recruit new members, train new leaders, speak up for their rights and needs, and fight against injustices.

“Unity is crucial, especially within the party and the people, both leaders and team. Continue our pursuit and preserve the existing unity among us,” he said.