By BORNEOTODAY REPORTERS
KOTA KINABALU: Wilfred Madius Tangau has dropped hints that his United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) party could come together for a ‘broader’ relationship with Parti Bersatu Sabah.
Tangau, the Upko acting president said the Kadazandusun need be united more than ever before and regain respect from the other communities. He however stopped short of a merger between the two KDM-based political parties.
However, Tangau, the minister of Science, Technology and Innovation said it was sad that there were people who continued to talk about the Kadazandusun losing the “tataba” (magic wand), but did not even think of wanting to unite.
This was in obvious reference to Henrynus Amin, a former PBS secretary general who now heads a local opposition party – Parti Kerjasama Anak Negeri, who had recently claimed credit for attempting to unite Upko, PBS and another KDM-based party – Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah.
Both Upko and PBRS are splinter parties of PBS; leaders from PBS went separate ways soon after the 1994 Sabah State elections to form their own parties and were taken into the Barisan Nasional coalition, leaving the Pairin Kitingan-led PBS out in the cold.
It was only during Abdullah Ahmad Badawi’s time as Prime Minister and Umno chief that PBS was brought back into the coalition.
Prior to the 2013 general elections, there were efforts to get all three parties ‘re-united’. It never materialised.
Tangau, after presenting an RM100,000 donation to Pairin, who is also Huguan Siou (KDM paramount leader) cum president of the Kadazandusun Cultural Association (KDCA) for the publication of a book, said:
“The time has come for us to unite, more so now than ever before, and to be a good leader we must be a good follower. The Huguan Siou has done a lot for us and this is an understatement.
“We need to be united and be counted as one. Our community had achieved much, but without any doubt, we could have done and grasped so much more,” he said.
“There was a time when we were shy to be identified as a Kadazandusun but not anymore and I think this was when Huguan Siou stood his ground to say that this is our right and nobody should take our right from us.
Touching on the book titled “Kadazandusunology Om Rinait”, (a book consisting of KDM poetry) Tangau urged the people to be united stand behind Pairin and “misompuru id koubasanan” (be united through culture).
“As the Huguan Siou mentioned we have found the “tataba”, which was the unity of the people gaining respect from the other community,” Tangau added at the same function together with the KDCA Honorary Awards Presentation ceremony at Shangri-La’s Tanjung Aru Resort and Spa here Thursday.
The contribution for the publication of the first-of-its-kind book symbolised the homecoming to KDCA for Tangau who had been involved with KDCA when it was still known as the Kadazan Cultural Association when its office was located in Sinsuran.
He was very interested to support the book’s publication when Benedict Topin, a KDCA strongman and intellectual from Tambunan and John Anthony, the current KDCA secretary-general showed it to him last Kaamatan.
“To me only when it is written in a book can we really understand where we come from and gain respect and that it is all right to be a Kadazandusun. This book will tell us who we are,” he said.
Besides that, the wellbeing of the Momogun community have always been Upko’s priority in the political arena since its inception in the 1960s, he said.
“It is not so much the amount, more the intention. Upko is synonym with the Momogun journey in politics towards a better tomorrow. I am only too happy to chip in for the people,” he said.
Pairin in his speech expressed gratitude to Tangau for the contribution to sponsor the publication of the book.
He also commended the big delegation from Tangau attending the ceremony comprising among others (Toh Puan) Rahimah Stephens, council of elders, Wences Angang and Masiung Banah, both Upko vice presidents.
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