Thursday, June 4

Bumburing steps down as Upko Tuaran chief


TAMPARULI: After being at the helm of a political party’s division since 1981, United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (Upko) Tuaran chief Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred M. Bumburing has decided not to seek re-election for the post.

Bumburing who said he was a division chief since the days of Pasok to Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and now Upko, pointed out that he wants to make way for the younger generation to play their part in politics.

He however stressed that his loyalty is still with Upko and he remains the party’s deputy president until the time when its members feel the need for him to make way for another to step into his shoes.

Bumburing made the announcement in his speech at the Upko Tuaran division’s triennial general meeting which was launched by party president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok yesterday.

He admitted that there were many questions from division members who felt confused by his decision.

“I hope no speculations will arise from this decision as I am still Upko deputy president and my commitment as well as loyalty to the party has not wavered,” he said, adding that to him posts are not important, only the desire to serve the people.

Bumburing told reporters later, “it has been 30 years so it is high time for me to hand over the torch. I just want to give chance to the younger generation as we cannot be selfish in matters like this.

“Of course those party members who are used to my leadership have protested but I think that at one point or another, party members must accept the fact that there is going to be a change of leadership.

“I can see the young people are ready to lead the party and I have a clear conscience on this. Of course there are a lot of things that still need to be done in Tuaran, especially in Kiulu in terms of infrastructure but I think we must give chance to the young leaders to participate in political activities,” he said.

Bumburing added that he was glad with the transition of power to his successor, Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau who is also Upko secretary general and former Tuaran member of parliament.

“I have no regrets of my previous service in this area. Of course I have my ups and downs in politics. I’ll say that I have a graceful exit from the division. Also now I am more or less spearheading the Angkatan Amanah Merdeka (AAM) in Sabah and there is a lot of work to be done as we are going to open up 17 divisions in the state.

Bumburing said that he joined AAM because it has similar struggles as Upko, among them are supporting a clean and efficient government, the urgent need to resolve the illegal immigrants problem and the need to increase the Sabah oil royalty to 20 per cent.

“If Upko members still need my service at the state level, I am there if not, I am also fine with it,” he said.

Asked if he would accept a re-nomination to contest in the coming 13th general election, Bumburing replied, “we will cross the bridge when we get there”.

Meanwhile, when asked about the response of Sabahans to the newly set up AAM, Bumburing who is the national pro-tem deputy chairman, said it had been tremendous from all walks of life.

According to him, there are 17 potential divisions to be set up in Sabah and these divisions will later form the nucleus state committee.

“We are still structuring the state hierarchy as all potential line-up has to be approved by the Supreme Council, including AAM pro-tem chairman Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah,” he said and stressed that AAM is an NGO which is open to everybody.

AAM, being an NGO, hopes to become the third force in forging and transforming a better government administration that will be transparent and accountable, truly competent and efficient, free of corruption and cronyism, clean and honest as well as fair and trustworthy, among others.

The inaugural speech by Tengku Razaleigh Hamzah at its recent launching in Kuala Lumpur as well as the proposed constitution of AAM are also available on its website.