PBS again brings up ‘betrayal’ by Upko

PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun. (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: The long-standing bad blood between PBS and former Barisan Nasional partner Upko continued today.

PBS maintained its stance that Upko had betrayed the Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) parties in BN when it switched sides following last year’s general election.

PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun said Upko had betrayed the presidential council, made up of the three BN KDM component parties, by pledging its allegiance to Warisan last May 10.

“As a result of the betrayal, PBS and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) were left clueless because before the election we formally pledged that whatever happens, we will make a decision together,” he said in a statement today.

Mositun said Maximus Ongkili, the then PBS deputy president, told Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau to wait until he came back from Kuala Lumpur on the night of May 10 before making a decision.

“But Upko had already made the decision that morning to go it alone … so it is true that PBS is where it is now due to Upko’s act of betrayal,” he said in response to a recent statement by Upko secretary-general Nelson Angang.

Mositun said he was entrusted to run the KDM council secretariat together with the other secretaries-general, namely Donald Mojuntin (Upko) and Johnson Tee (PBRS).

Angang yesterday told PBS to start owning up to the decision and direction it has taken instead of blaming its predicament on others, particularly Upko.

Angang was also reacting to an earlier statement by Ongkili who had told party members on Monday that PBS was in the opposition not by choice but due to Upko’s betrayal.

Mositun dismissed Angang’s comments, saying Ongkili “did not pluck words from thin air”.

“Obviously, Ongkili hit a sore nerve by saying that the predicament PBS is in today is the fault of Upko as it had crossed over to Warisan in a shameful manner after having pledged total commitment and loyalty to BN in the last general election.”

Mositun said the chronology of events showed that Upko had gone to great lengths to convince PBS and PBRS of its commitment to the council right up till the last general election.

“But when it came to saving its own skin, we were forgotten. They didn’t have the courtesy to inform us, let alone consult us before crossing over.

“That is what our party president meant, that Upko left PBS and PBRS high and dry by deserting us for its own survival and selfish reasons,” he said.

He said it was also ridiculous for Angang to claim that Upko’s destiny was determined by the “majority” in a democratic system.

“What majority? The seats Upko won were due to the majority of voters in the respective constituencies, including PBS members, who gave their backing as BN members at the party’s directive,” Mositun said.

“Betraying those ‘majorities’ means nothing to Angang, it seems. All that matters to him and Upko is to survive with a fictitious majority, one formed only after Upko ‘frogged’ (switched allegiance) for self-preservation.”