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1,240 Kota Marudu BN members join PKR

By Luke Rintod of FMT
KOTA MARUDU: Five branches of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the Tandek state constituency in Kota Marudu are believed to have been either dissolved or on the brink of collapse.
PBS' loss is PKR’s gain as the majority of their members who quit en masse joined the opposition this weekend.

The five branches are in Talamason, Pangapuyan, Paka, Mogis and Pompodon.

Tandek is currently represented by PBS assemblywoman Anita Baranting, a close associate of Kota Marudu MP and PBS deputy president, Maximus Ongkili.

PKR strongman Jeffrey Kitingan hailed the exodus of the 1,240 ex-Barisan Nasional members, the majority of whom are from PBS, saying their brave action foretells a “tsunami” of BN members ditching their own recalcitrant leaders.

"Their action speaks volumes of their frustration on the futility of supporting helpless BN leaders who have failed to resolve land issues, provide better infrastructure and greater opportunities to the people," he said when receiving the application forms witnessed by Kota Marudu PKR head, Anthony Mandiau.

"The people here have brought up three issues, which Maximus is also now raising with the BN. These issues are land matters, illegal immigrants, and unfair power-sharing. These people are asking how will PKR deal with them when we are in power.

"On land, how come Maximus is asking the government and Chief Minister Musa Aman to address this issue? Isn’t he in the government? And if you are in the government, how come you can't solve this problem? So who is the government?" asked Jeffrey.

"Are they referring to Umno? (If) so, what are they doing there? They might as well get out of BN if they can't solve this problem," Jeffrey said, adding that the government is not transparent and that BN exists only in name, with all the other parties being abused by Umno at will.

He said while BN component parties are becoming increasingly powerless, Umno has become arrogant to the extent that its leaders want to grab seats allocated to the other components parties.

"It looks like we are worse than the early days of Sabah independence... there was no 'tuan' (master). Now there is a tuan in the form of Umno as the new colonial masters," he said.

'BN destroying the country'
Jeffrey, who also heads several NGOs, said PBS and Upko are unable to solve outstanding problems in Sabah, including the issue of land grabs. It shows that the current government no longer respects native rights, he added.

"The illegal immigrants are getting bigger and bigger. Worse still, while this issue remains unresolved, there is already a BN proposal to employ these illegal immigrants, which means that the BN government is encouraging them to transgress our laws twice.

"This BN government, supported by all these BN partners, is destroying this country. What will happen to our future if this continues? Who will own this land? Who will decide for us when we no longer have our say and when our people had been disenfranchised and replaced by illegal immigrants?" asked Jeffrey.

"When Maximus talked about power-sharing, he was referring to Umno monopolising power, Umno's divide and rule attitude, and Umno's arrogance. He knows very well that this is not right and yet the partners chose to support Umno.

"PBS and Upko members should ditch their leaders to teach them a lesson," said Jeffrey, who is the younger brother of PBS president and deputy chief minister Joseph Pairin Kitingan.

"It is time for BN component parties to think carefully and evaluate their position in BN. It is time the people told the leaders of these parties that enough is enough: either you leave BN or we will leave you.”

On Pakatan Rakyat, Jeffrey said the matters raised by the people and Maximus could be easily resolved.

“Firstly, land issue is a state matter. There is no need for us to refer to Kuala Lumpur or Umno when we deal with state matters.

"Secondly, Pakatan has made it a policy to establish a Royal Commission of Inquiry as a concrete step to resolve the longstanding problem of illegal immigrants and identity cards. We have no tuan in our system. Our tuan is the people," he said.

Jeffrey said the decision by the 1,240 ex-BN members to join PKR will set the pace in other areas.

On new members, he said: “The future is in your hands. Use your right to tell BN leaders that you deserve better treatment.

“Because of BN’s bad policies, Sabah has become poor. Our future generation is going to suffer the consequences of the government's acts of negligence.

“PKR’s power-sharing is based on fair play, justice and democracy. There is no such thing as divide and rule. We will treat each other as equal partners."


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