PBS woos young professionals in bid to revive after fall from power

PBS president Maximus Ongkili leads party members in doing the ‘Bersatu’ war cry at a special briefing for new recruits in Kota Kinabalu.

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) says it is continuing efforts to revive the party, nine months after the defeat of Sabah Barisan Nasional, the coalition the party was a part of.

Its president Maximus Ongkili said the party was recruiting “young and talented” members to fill its ranks.

He said young professionals in Sabah believed in PBS’ objectives.

“We will continue to recruit new members, and I am appealing to young people to use PBS as a platform to move forward by joining our struggle for the rights of Sabah and Sabahans,” he said during a briefing organised by its training unit Akademi Kepimpinan Bersatu (AKB).

Ongkili, the Kota Marudu MP, said PBS is a multi-racial and the most reliable party for Sabahans.

“There are still many vacancies… so we are searching for young and talented graduates who want to defend Sabah.”

The event today was attended by 34 new members who were briefed on the party’s objectives and struggles, the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63), as well as opportunities in business and agriculture sectors.

PBS left Barisan Nasional (BN) after the general election last year in which the coalition won only half of the state seats they contested.

PBS also took a huge blow when its founder and former president Joseph Pairin Kitingan was defeated in his stronghold in Tambunan, by his brother Jeffrey Kitingan, who is president of Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).

Since then, the party has undergone a transformation, starting with the resignation of Pairin.

PBS has become more vocal about Sabah’s rights and MA63 and is now actively engaging with the media as it strives to become an effective opposition in the state legislative assembly.