KOTA KINABALU: The only way to get Sabah Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan to give up his position as the Member of Parliament for Keningau is to challenge him in the next election, said Science, Technology and Innovation Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili.
In responding to the state DAP’s call for Pairin, who is also the assemblyman for Tambunan, to give up his position as MP, Ongkili said Pairin was elected by the people and had been playing his role effectively.
“I think it is not for them to make such a call. Maybe just for one particular day he was not present in Parliament, but he still plays his role in a strategic manner through his networking, through his post as Deputy Chief Minister.
“The MP post that he holds helps to enhance whatever networking he has to do at both the state and federal level.
“So, it does not affect his work at the state level. It is just that he has to do more and he has been doing that very well so I do not see why DAP should go and poke their noses (into his business),” he said when met at a media gathering organised by his ministry here on Saturday.
On New Year’s Eve, state DAP vice chairman Edward Ewol Mujie and the party’s publicity secretary Dr Edwin Bosi requested that Pairin, 70, who is also Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president, resign as MP giving reasons that Pairin had too much on his plate as an assemblyman, as deputy chief minister and as the state Infrastructure Development Minister.
Ongkili, who is also PBS deputy president, said Pairin was elected fairly by the people of Keningau who decided that they wanted him as their respresentative.
“And knowing Datuk Pairin, he has always been a very responsible person in whatever post you give to him. He will use it to the maximum for the people,” he added. — Bernama