KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Maximus Ongkili launched a scathing attack on the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government and Warisan-led state administration today, accusing them of breaking their promises and disappointing those who had voted them into power.
In his policy speech at the launch of the party’s 34th congress in Penampang near here, Ongkili also took to task former Barisan Nasional (BN) ally United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Organisation (Upko) for what he called its “betrayal” in the May 9 polls last year.
Ongkili, who is Kota Marudu MP, told the 1,000-strong crowd from 60 PBS divisions statewide that the people had fallen for PH’s election promises and now found themselves with the short end of the stick.
“Eighteen months later, voters realise they were taken for a ride,” he said.
He said PH had promised to abolish National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans and to restore full autonomy to Sabah and Sarawak.
“What about the promised 40% income for Sabah from all taxes collected from the state?
“When are they going to solve the large and growing presence of illegal immigrants? Instead of providing remedies, they made it worse,” he added.
He also scoffed at PH’s Cost of Living Aid, saying BN’s BR1M handouts had been more beneficial to the people.
“In our own backyard, the Warisan-led government is creating one disappointment after another,” he said.
“They abolished the communal title system which had benefited thousands of Sabahans. They also ignored the court decision declaring Amarjit Singh’s appointment as Sabah water director illegal.
“They also want to formulate and implement the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) for 600,000 illegal immigrants next year. These are just a few examples of the government’s flaws and disrespect for the law.”
Ongkili said Upko, meanwhile, had ignored the pact with PBS and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah and switched allegiances to Warisan.
“We fought hard, and PBS and BN should have been the government. We lost at the federal level, but back home it was a draw.
“All hopes were crushed when Upko betrayed us,” he said.
Speaking to reporters after the event, he also spoke of “leapfrogging”, which he called a cancer in the state.
“We probably have the biggest number of frogs. In fact, two of our PBS leaders recently succumbed to this behaviour,” he said in a likely reference to Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting and Labuk rep Abdul Rahman Kongkawan.
“But like cancer, there is a cure if it is detected early. As such, I am reiterating our past calls for the revival of the anti-hopping law in view of the country’s political history.”
He also said PBS was firmly against the PSS, which he said could be abused by those out to make a quick buck.
“There is every possibility that the pass could be used as a supporting document for the holders to apply for permanent resident status in Sabah, or even citizenship through acquisition of a MyKad,” he said.
He also repeated the party’s call for a royal commission of inquiry into the issuance of citizenship documents in Sabah.
“Give us the details, and let us also study the relevance of issuing the PSS,” he said.