Ignored and unappreciated UPKO urged to return ‘home’

Joachim Gunsalam

KOTA KINABALU: A senior Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) leader has invited his former comrades to return to their original political home.

Kundasang assemblyman Datuk Dr Joachim Gunsalam in expressing his feelings felt that UPKO leaders were being ignored and their defection to support the Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal-led government was left unappreciated.

“You are just the ‘pendatang’ (migrants) there … better come back to your original political home and comrades who gave you the platform, finance and support to win your seats,” said Gunsalam in a statement yesterday.

He was responding to Upko deputy secretary-general Georgina George for lambasting Sabah PKR chief Christina Liew for not acknowledging the critical role played by the party in the formation of the Sabah government when she tabled the motion in the special state assembly sitting on Monday.

Even Upko’s Kuamut assemblyman Masiung Banah also wanted to put the record straight that Upko made huge sacrifices to help form the government along with Warisan, PKR and DAP and they should be given due recognition.

“This government would not have been formed if Upko did not sacrifice its principles. People are also saying we did not play a big role … that must be corrected because this is history, or else Upko will be condemned and ridiculed,” Banah said.

Gunsalam stressed that once one sacrificed his or her principles for short-term political gains, one will not earn the salute and respect of the voting public

“What more your political partners of convenience.

“Come back to us in Gabungan Bersatu. Let us join forces to uphold the political struggle of dignified politics and together serve the Sabah people and defend their rights as enshrined in the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63)” he said.

George, in a statement, stressed the fact that Liew did not even acknowledge the importance of Upko’s support to form the current Sabah government in her speech was disappointing.

“She (Liew) has certainly forgotten that it was Upko who took the hard stance to leave Barisan Nasional and support Shafie to form the state government when Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) brought two assemblymen to support BN, resulting in Parti Warisan Sabah and its ally Pakatan Harapan both having 29 seats,” she added.

George said for the Warisan-PH-Upko government to work, the first fundamental rule was respect and recognition of a partner’s contribution.

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