I’ve no bad intention – Max
Posted on August 18, 2012, Saturday
PBS deputy president says he is only referring to historical facts of Sabah’s politics
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Maximus Ongkili clarified yesterday that he was merely referring to the historical facts of Sabah’s politics when commenting on the “political leap-frogging” in Sabah.
He said that it was never his intention to personally attack any individuals and neither did he mean any personalities when he was commenting on the recent action of three Barisan Nasional (BN) members in Sabah who defected to the opposition.
Maximus, who is also the Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation, was referring to a news report on his comments on former BN leaders Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and Datuk Maijol Mahap who recently defected from the BN.
He was asked on Thursday by reporters on whether there would be a repeat of the 1994 state polls where several prominent Sabah politicians that left the then opposition PBS, to defect to BN.
“In naming those who had indeed defected in the 1994 political episode of Sabah, I did not have malice towards any leaders. I was purely illustrating how during that episode in the 1990′s, the people of Sabah had reacted towards politicians who had crossed over,” said Maximus.
The PBS deputy president, when speaking to reporters after signing a memorandum of understanding on science and technology cooperation between Malaysia and Mozambique in Putrajaya Thursday, had warned political frogs that they will be duly “punished” by the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) community in Sabah.
He said the state has had a long history of politicians crossing over to the opposing side when it suits their needs, and Sabahans, particularly the KDMs have always given the appropriate response.
Taking the example of the 1999 state election, Maximus said voters booted out several prominent politicians for having defected to BN from the then opposition PBS in the 1994 state polls.
“By and large, (it is the) ethics of the KDM people. They don’t like party hoppers, don’t like people without principles.
“In 99 we had the state elections for the first time after the (1994) hopping. Except for (Datuk Seri) Lajim (Ukin), (Datuk Seri) Wilfred (Bumburing) and (Tan Sri Bernard) Dompok, became victims (of an unhappy electorate).
“He (Dompok) was Chief Minister, and Bumburing was a deputy Chief Minister… that’s how Sabah people mete out punishment to people without principles,” he said.
Meanwhile, UPKO regretted the statement by Maximus for citing UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok as one of those people who has no principle, a political frog and will be punished.
UPKO deputy information chief Sualim Gopog said it is indeed very sad that a person of Maximus’ stature can be careless and reckless in making statements affecting his Cabinet colleague.
“Tan Sri Bernard’s reputation as a leader has been severely affected by the careless statement by Max and it is appropriate that he should apologise to him.
“Indeed Tan Sri Dompok, then Sabah Chief Minister, lost the Moyog state seat in the 1999 State general elections largely because of unscrupulous people calling him and other UPKO leaders as political frog.
“However, it is to the credit of Tan Sri Dompok that his decision to implement the ‘Seri Gaya Resolution’ to form the Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS) of which Datuk Seri Dr Maximus himself was the agreed founding secretary general to join the Barisan Nasional has been vindicated by the decision of the PBS to rejoin the Barisan Nasional in 2002.”
Sualim added that it took time for UPKO leaders to explain to the people the circumstances and rationale in the formation of PDS, “but history has been kind to us, in that, today UPKO and Tan Sri Dompok can stand tall and be proud of our reputation and performance as the champion of the natives, Kadazandusuns and Muruts’ rights within the Barisan Nasional decision making process.
“It is really unfortunate that a careless statement such as that of Dr Max can be made at a most inappropriate time when UPKO, PBS and PBRS are working very hard on forging a united front to face the opposition.
“Whatever it is the insinuation by Max will strengthen the resolve of UPKO members and the rank and file of UPKO leaders to continue rallying behind our president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok,” he said.