KOTA BELUD — United Sabah Tindal Organisation (Usto), one of the ethnic associations in Sabah, has called on the leaders of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) to reconsider regrouping or merging under one political party like when they were together in PBS.
In making the call, Usto secretary-general Kanul Gindol said if they meant what they said, they should at least be exploring ways to synergise their resources to bring out more for the community they represent.
“Nowadays people only believe if words are quickly followed by concrete action or efforts, just like what Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak is doing.
“One option for the three Kadazandusun Murut (KDM) leaders is to reconsider regrouping under one political party again like when they were together in PBS,” he told Bernama Tuesday.
Kanul was asked to comment on the media report that PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, UPKO president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, and PBRS president Tan Sri Joseph Kurup had offered each other their hand of unity on Sunday here, in a long awaited encounter, symbolising their resolve to help Barisan Nasional (BN) win the 13th general election.
The trio shook hands at a ceremony to hand over RM4.5 million worth of goods to heads of churches in Sabah, and vowed to work together to ensure victory for BN, led by Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak.
“As far as unity is concerned, there is nothing impossible that we can look forward to in future,” the three BN component leaders were quoted as saying.
Dompok and Kurup were senior leaders in PBS between 1985 and 1994 before leaving the party to form their own parties to join BN after the 1994 state general election while PBS left the BN coalition in 1990 but rejoined in 2002.
Kanul opined that there was nothing “too late” in doing something for a noble cause, especially “if leaders are unselfish and have plans for a united future”.
“While it is right to be in different political parties, it is also completely not wrong for them to share responsibilities and the opportunities, at least they save costs on duplicating each other, sometimes trying to outdo each other, and along the way engage in unnecessary skirmishes that only benefited their common enemies, leaving the people disillusioned and in disarray,” he said.
He said three KDM leaders should not deny themselves of the opportunity to salvage all the good things of working in unity, saying that “the threats to the community are already mounting”.
“We are speaking about tomorrow. Rekindling the past is just melancholy, planning for the future is strategic for the people,” said Kanul, who is also a journalist cum activist.