KOTA KINABALU: The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation ((Upko) is determined to help achieve the ideal Malaysia as aspired by the founding leaders of the country.
The pledge came from its acting president, Datuk Madius Tangau who pointed out that “generally, Malaysia has done considerably well” despite the long and winding journey along narrow roads.
He said: “Upko was there at the very beginning and was instrumental in the formation of Malaysia. Even when Upko was dissolved in 1968, our leaders and the community had never stopped doing their part.
“The formation of Parti Demokratik Sabah in 1994 which we later renamed Upko in 1999 enabled us to once again have a political party for our very own people. Our track record is there for all to see. Today, on this auspicious 51st anniversary of the birth of our country, Upko is more determined than ever in its endeavour to help greatly in the nation-building of Malaysia.”
Tangau said this when asked to comment on the outcome of an Upko dinner cum forum in conjunction with Malaysia Day on Tuesday.
Four years ago, the then party president, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, was at the forefront fighting for September 16 to be made a national public holiday in recognition of Malaysia Day. Prime Minster Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak duly concurred.
Tangau pointed out: “When the Primer made the historical decision, indeed he had actually reset the process of nation building for Malaysia. Although the formation of Malaysia took only less than two years, the process was by no means easy.
“This humble gathering of Upko leaders this evening marks a symbolic beginning of another tradition for Upko. From henceforth we will celebrate Malaysia Day Upko on an annual basis. We will also recognise August 31 as our National Day. Upko is in the arena with the Prime Minister.”
Tangau, who is also Tuaran member of parliament, said Upko was aware of the sentiment on the ground where certain quarters were provoking the people such as the talk about Sabah seceding from Malaysia.
“It is important that UPKO leaders are given the historical facts, especially in the legal aspect leading to the formation of Malaysia.
“Upko is sad that some people are bent on becoming part of the problem rather than fighting an aspiration that gave birth to a new country called Malaysia. Whatever it is, we are optimistic that Malaysia will continue to reach new heights, the nearest being acquiring a status of a developed nation in six years time,” he said.
The forum was moderated by Universiti Malaysia Sabah lecturer Dr Paul Porodong. Lawyer Sukumaran Vanugopal spoke about the Malaysian Agreement and the 20 Points, seasoned politician Datuk Yap Pak Leong shared his personal experience and (contributions in the drafting of the 20 Points as a leader of his then political party the United Party) about the people’s past and present expectations and concerns, while Dompok pointed the way forward for Malaysia.