PENAMPANG: Parti Warisan Sabah has rubbished the contention made by Maximus Ongkili, the acting President of PBS, that the Shafie Apdal-led party will not be able to make any impact in the coming general election.
Loretto Padua Jr, Secretary General of Warisan, said they believe that the responsibility to protect Sabahans future within the Federation of Malaysia should be handed to the new generation to ensure that the special rights and privileges will always be highlighted.
“PBS’ call ‘Sabah for Sabahans’ was the single reason why PBS had several initial successes in the late 80s,” Loretto said in a statement.
“PBS has since grown old and now must give way to more the vigorous, stronger and determined Warisan to ensure that Sabah’s special rights and privileges within the Federation of Malaysia will always be protected all the time.”
Loretto also said that PBS now is finding hard to assert itself between safeguarding Sabah’s interests and political interests.
“The long-time party stalwart Henrynus Amin, an ex Secretary General of PBS, had stated it clearly (when giving reasons for his resignation) that ‘many PBS supporters have grown tired and question the direction PBS has taken especially on issues the party promised to resolve but failed to act’.
“This tells us that PBS and Ongkili are unable to assert themselves on many important Sabah issues particularly relating to the RCI on Illegal Immigrants in Sabah or the Cabotage Policy,” he said.
He also believes that Ongkili is contradicting himself by saying that PBS will continue protecting Sabah’s interest while at the same time, continue praising the BN coalition system of governance.
“When we talk about Sabah’s interests in conjunction with a coalition system or even an agreed electoral pact between local and national based parties, what we should have is a ratio that benefits the local parties, say, 70% local and 30% national.
Loretto said in 2013 for example, UMNO contested 32 out of the 60 Sabah DUN seats and rest (28 seats) were being shared between PBS, UPKO, PBRS, LDP, MCA and Gerakan.
“Did Ongkili or PBS object to this arrangement of seats made by Najib Razak?
“Obviously not but imagine if this had been the case at Sarawak, would they not be furious?
So, what nonsense is he talking about ‘coalition’? This is not a coalition at all but clearly domination.
“And yet, Max still has the audacity to tell Sabahans that PBS can protect Sabah’s special rights or privileges.
“It is only natural for Warisan to inform the electorate in Sabah that there is no way for PBS, which is a minority in an UMNO-dominated BN coalition, will be able do that,” he explained it.
Loretto also took a swipe at Ongkili who branded Warisan as a young party.
“All political parties that we see now were once spearheaded by young leaders during its inception and it is actually during their ‘young’ years, these parties tend to make the biggest impact because of the energy, commitment and determination of its leaders.
“What Max should be wary about is that being an old party, PBS relied too much on its past glorious days while fielding the same candidates over and over again in every election until now,” he added.