TUARAN: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) deputy president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing has left Barisan Nasional (BN) and joined forces with Pakatan Rakyat (PR).
Bumburing made the announcement at a gathering here yesterday, finally confirming the incessant talk that he was quitting BN and UPKO, the party he co-founded with Tan Sri Bernard Dompok.
Other UPKO leaders that resigned were vice president Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap, permanent chairman Datuk Herman Tiongsoh, Supreme Council member Denis Gimpah, Lesaya Lopog and Petrus Guriting.
The Tuaran member of parliament told reporters that their resignation letters had been submitted to UPKO last week.
He added that Dompok did try to persuade him but the latter eventually accepted the fact that Bumburing was remaining steadfast in his decision.
Earlier when speaking to a crowd of more than 4,000 people at a restaurant in Dalit, the Tuaran member of parliament also announced the setting up of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (Sabah Reformation Movement) which he said would support the opposition coalition.
“We, the former UPKO and PBS leaders, are of the opinion that we cannot support BN anymore for many reasons. It is for those reasons that I and my comrades have officially left BN and have set up a new platform called Angkatan Perubahan Sabah.
“APS is joining PR and we fully support Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s leadership in the coalition. From today onwards, we will be going around Sabah, especially to KDM areas, to create awareness about the movement and I am confident that with the support of PR leaders, a majority of KDM will support PR,” Bumburing said.
He explained that APS is not a party for any particular group but is a reform movement that will strengthen the opposition coalition.
Bumburing also gave the assurance that APS members were not to displace the existing leaders in PR but to support them and make the coalition stronger.
Bumburing added that he knew his decision to leave BN would give rise to accusations against him.
“I have read in some blogs that I am leaving BN and UPKO because I lost in the party’s divisional election. Let me make it clear that I won the UPKO Tuaran divisional chief’s post uncontested but I rejected the post.
“Then there were talks that my decision was spurred by the fact that I was not re-nominated as a BN candidate. I would like to stress here that in my numerous meetings with party president Tan Sri Bernard, I had told him that I will have to bring up his name up when I reply to this accusation; he had asked me to accept the nomination as Tuaran MP.
“But I said, sorry brother I will not stand on a BN ticket,” Bumburing said and stressed that it was because of the struggle for the people and not the post of an elected representative that drove him to make his decision.
He reminded the people that he was not nominated in the 10th and 11th general elections but he continued to carry out his duty as UPKO deputy president as he was doing it in accordance with the party’s struggles.