KOTA KINABALU: UPKO should have withdrawn from Barisan Nasional (BN) before the 14th General Election, instead of waiting only after it is over, if it truly felt unhappy and sidelined by BN.
Sabah UMNO Wanita Chief Datuk Hajah Jainab Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Ahmad Ayid said the people of Sabah should ask UPKO why it continued to stick to BN if BN and UMNO had been bullying it before the GE14, and that why it only abandoned BN when its top leaders saw opportunities to get top cabinet posts under the Warisan-led State Government.
UPKO’s sudden departure, which happened just as the BN and STAR have formed a coalition state government, after the GE14, came as a big surprise for all the BN component parties as well as all BN supporters and voters in Sabah, she said.
It was known well that UPKO was also given cabinet posts for its senior leaders then, under the State BN and Star coalition government, after the GE14, which was a proof that the BN or UMNO never bullied or sidelined any of its component parties, she said.
“More surprising and saddening was that UPKO did not just leave BN, but accused BN and especially UMNO of having bullied UPKO and its leaders, which was untrue as we all know that BN always worked based on consensus.”
“It was shocking for a senior and experienced leader like UPKO Acting President Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau and its other leaders to utter serious and baseless accusations against former BN friends whom they have worked along with, and who have helped and supported them during the GE14 and throughout the time when they were with the BN,” she said.
Speaking in support of earlier statements by State UMNO Liaison Chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor against Wilfred Tangau and other UPKO leaders, Jainab, who was the Community Development and Consumer Affairs Minister and ex-Karambunai Assemblywoman, said the move by UPKO Vice President–cum-Treasurer-
General Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh to quit his party posts because of Wilfred Tangau was a strong proof of how over-ambitious Tangau was.
Mojigoh, who however retained his Putatan UPKO Division Chief post, had explained that his decision had something to do with Tangau, who he claimed was scared of all senior party members and had allegedly given the gag order against Mojigoh to speak out to the media.
Mojigoh also claimed that the departure of the party members, including senior members, was due to the present leadership, which he alleged was “arrogant” and “minta puji”.
Jainab concurred with Mojigoh that Sabah UMNO include many leaders and members of Kadazandusun and Murut descent, thus the call by UPKO for UMNO to stick to Malaya was very hurtful.
“That remark from Tangau was hurtful to Sabah UMNO leaders and members who used to work with UPKO when it was still in BN,” she said.
Jainab, who is Sepanggar Wanita UMNO Chief, fully agreed with Sabah UMNO Information Chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia’s statement that UPKO should not be too quick to dismiss the previous UMNO-led State Government by “Kow-towing” to Kuala Lumpur and giving the impression that it can survive without the latter’s support.
“It is another lie given by UPKO just so to get the people of Sabah to support the party. People know that the Warisan-led State Government, which UPKO is now a part of it, is part of the Pakatan Harapan Federal Government…the Warisan-led State Government is not an opposition to the Federal Government, so how can you say the Sabah State Government stand on its own and has nothing to do with the Federal Government and the Federal Government has nothing to do with or has no influence over the Sabah State Government,” she said.
Pandikar reportedly said that the new Warisan-led State Government would now have to “beg KL” and cited three reasons.
Firstly, Pandikar said, they would beg KL to support the survival of the government. If the Federal-led parties such as Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) and Democratic Action Party (DAP) did not support Warisan, then the current government would not exist.
Secondly, he said, they would beg KL for financial support for the development of the State of Sabah as aspired by Sabahans as the revenue of the State Government alone would not be sufficient to develop Sabah.
And thirdly, as a government whose existence is owed purely to “frog politics”, it should not and cannot claim that it was mighty in the eyes of the people and Kuala Lumpur, said Pandikar. -By L.S Kuang/BNN