Oleh Chris Maskilone
KOTA KINABALU: PBS continuous denial to the fact that the majority of the people Sabah have rejected PBS and BN has only exposed weaknesses in the party’s leadership.
Upko Information Chief, Datuk Dr Laurentius Nayan Ambu said PBS outgoing president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan should have realised that the failure of PBS to deliver its seats in the 14th General Election was one of the main reasons for the downfall of BN.
He said Pairin also said that PBS and BN should have been the government but “clearly from this statement alone, it implies that what mattered for him is to form a government regardless whether they have the majority support from the people or otherwise.”
“It is not only about being government of the day, it is about respecting and fulfilling the wishes of the majority.
“If you do not have a clear mandate from the people and to bulldoze and force the formation of the government based on the minority support, that would be the ultimate betrayal of democracy and the aspiration of the people,” said Dr Laurentius in a statement here.
He was commenting on Pairin’s speech at the opening of PBS 33rd annual delegates congress recently where he blamed Upko for the collapsed of the BN state government.
Pairin had described Upko’s move as an act of betrayal.
However, Dr Laurentius said Upko’s decision to leave BN and to form a coalition government with Warisan, DAP and PKR was after it was considered that 60 percent of the voters had voted against BN and wanted change.
“When Upko’s then acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau met with Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Upko did set any term and condition instead only to state that Upko have heard the voice of the majority and offer to form a coalition government,” he said
It was hypocritical of Pairin to say PBS did not betray the voice of the people, but their action showed otherwise because they accepted the support of STAR who had campaigned hard to the downfall of the BN government, he said.
“The irony of it all was that he himself (Pairin) had lost the seat of Tambunan and that PBS also lost the seat of Bingkor, also to STAR.
“If PBS had delivered these two seats, BN would have won the election by a simple majority of 31 seats,” he said.
“If Pairin is such a principled man then he ought to have rejected these two STAR assemblymen from supporting BN, who by the way in Pairin’s own definition, STAR would be traitors to their voters,” he said.
Dr Laurentius said Pairin publicly called Upko and Madius as traitors.
“How about his very own brother Datuk Dr Jeffery Kitingan who contested and beat him in Tambunan?
“Did not Jeffery make a U-turn and supported the BN. So Upko are traitors to PBS while Dr Jeffery is an angel? What logic?” he asked.
Therefore, Pairin and PBS should start owning up to their own mistakes and weaknesses in failing to deliver the seats to BN and stop taking the easy way out by blaming others, he said.
“There is a reason why PBS have lost so many seats in the recent General election. Surely it was not because of Upko’s decision,” he said.
Dr Laurentius reminded Pairin that in 1990 on the eve of the general election, he decided to take PBS out from BN and joined forces with Semangat 46 only after managing to convince the BN leadership then to allow PBS to use their own logo representing BN.
“This was the ultimate betrayal when after securing an advantage of using its own logo and managing to ensure no other component BN parties to stand in their respective parliamentary constituency, he decided to abandoned his partners in BN.”
In the recent election, Pairin said that PBS did not move an inch when BN collapsed because they respected the voters’ wishes and only subsequently they left BN because the turn of events forced them to.
“What could that turn of event be? That the majority of the people had rejected BN? This is another hypocritical and ambiguous reason given by Pairin to justify their action but condemning Upko’s action,” he said.
Dr Laurentius said if indeed it was true that PBS wanted to respect the wishes of the voters then they should have stayed put in BN.-SabahNewsToday