KOTA KINABALU: PBS yesterday launched a fresh attack on Upko, telling its former Barisan Nasional (BN) partner that its president Wilfred Madius Tangau would have lost his Tuaran seat if not for PBS.
Newly elected PBS vice-president Daniel Kinsik said Upko must realise that Tangau’s victory was made possible in part by the two PBS state seats of Kiulu and Tamparuli, as well as the Umno seat of Sulaman.
“We call for his resignation, and for him to return the mandate to the grassroots. Let’s see if he can repeat his victory without our help,” he said here yesterday.
Kinsik added that Tangau, who is Sabah deputy chief minister, had failed miserably in his attempt to get the support of the Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) community to secure a deputy presidency in the Kadazan Dusun Cultural Association (KDCA).
He noted that Tangau had garnered the fewest votes against new PBS president Maximus Ongkili and Clarence Bongkos Malakun, both of whom were returned as deputy presidents.
This came after Upko information chief Lawrence Ambu reiterated that the party’s decision to jump ship and join the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan (PH) alliance was because the people wanted change.
Responding to outgoing PBS president Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who said Upko had betrayed BN, Ambu said Upko’s decision to leave BN and form a coalition government with Warisan, DAP and PKR was made after taking into consideration that 60% of the voters had voted against BN.
Ambu also accused PBS of causing BN’s downfall in Sabah by failing to deliver its seats in the May 9 polls.
He said Pairin was only concerned about being in the government while Upko’s intention was always to respect and fulfil the wishes of the majority.
He added that Pairin had led PBS out of BN on the eve of the 1990 general election.
To this, Kinsik said Upko should accept the fact that it had betrayed the grassroots for its own gain.
“Upko is still in denial,” he said. “They abandoned BN, which was a betrayal not just of us, their family members in the coalition, but of the voters as well.
“Yes, PBS exited BN in 1990, but that was a gentleman’s move. We left the coalition before the election and used our own flag.
“Don’t say that PBS is no different from Upko when it comes to betrayal, because PBS is far more sincere than Upko.”
If Upko wanted out, he said, the party should have left before the May 9 polls, not after having used the BN manifesto and funds.
“When you won, you sold your soul for political mileage.”
He added that Upko had always justified its action by saying it wished to defend the rights and position of the KDM community.
“May we remind you that when Musa Aman formed the government on May 10, his main Cabinet included two ministers each from PBS, Upko and Umno, and one each from PBRS (Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah) and Sabah STAR (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku), which are all KDMs.
“When Upko jumped ship, it changed eight KDM ministers to only four in the Warisan-led government – two each from Upko and Warisan.”
He said even some heads of government agencies who were initially KDM officers had been replaced by people from other ethnicities.
“So what KDM rights are you talking about?”