KOTA KINABALU: UPKO Ranau Youth division chief Jackson Musi, along with 20 of the movement’s leaders have quit the party with immediate effect.
Citing loss of confidence in UPKO top leadership’s administration of the party, Musi told a press conference today that the decision was made during a special meeting he chaired earlier.
“Today, 14 of Upko Ranau Youth division’s supreme council convened a special meeting to discuss an important matter, quitting the party. The decision we made was to leave Upko and we will be submitting our resignation letters to the divisional leadership soon,” he said.
According to Musi, quitting with him were the movement’s two vice chiefs, the secretary and assistant secretary, the treasurer and some of the supreme council members. In total 21 of the 29 supreme council members resigned.
Musi who joined Upko in 2004 was elected as its Ranau Division Youth Chief during the party election. He also held the posts of Exco Youth movement and the assistant organising secretary of the Youth Movement.
He however stressed that those who quit today did not have any personal issues with party president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Madius Tangau or Paginatan assemblyman Datuk Abidin Madingkir.
“In Ranau, we need to feel the spirit and strength of Upko in the past because when you look at the situation in Upko Ranau now, it is not like before. Even among the grassroots, many have left Upko and more may follow suit, this convinced us to leave the party too.
“Upko Top leaders must be wise in administrating the party so that it remains relevant for the KDM community. We are unhappy with how the party is being administered and we no longer have confidence in the top leadership will be able to continue leading the party and ensuring that it remains relevant for the KDM community. We are not happy with some of the decisions made by the top leadership,” he said.
Musi said that he was contemplating quitting party but what cemented the decision was when Upko Vice President cum Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah left.
He claimed that Upko has been divided since 2015 because of internal problems and the biggest impact on him as well as the youth movement was when Masiung left the party because of internal problems.
“He is my political idol and when he left, I felt that there is no longer a reason to remain in the party. He is a responsible and outspoken party leader. We decided to follow suit and be government friendly. We were disappointed when one by one, the party leaders left,” Musi said.
He opined that in the interest of the party and for it to remain relevant to the rakyat and KDM community Upko top leadership must undergo re-branding as it is the only local KDM party in the present government that fights for the rakyat.
The top leadership must do something to strengthen unity within the party and resolve internal issues that has been there since 2015, he said stressing that unity is very important in order for the party to remain relevant in Sabah.
“I sought Datuk Ewon’s (Upko Ranau divisional chief) permission to resign, he tried to talk me out of it but I remained steadfast with my decision. In the end he relented and said “I cannot stand in the way of the Youths decision”.