Upko and PBRS may merge


  • Nation
  • Saturday, 07 Aug 2004

KOTA KINABALU: Upko and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah – two Sabah Barisan Nasional Kadazandusun parties – may finally merge after a gentlemen’s agreement was reached between its leaders recently. 

Upko, led by federal minister Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, and former deputy chief minister Tan Sri Joseph Kurup of Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah recently ironed out how their members would fit in the merged outfit to be called Parti Upko Bersatu. 

Sources said Dompok is likely to be the president with Kurup as his deputy and the current Upko deputy president Datuk Wilfred Bumburing set to become secretary-general. 

The consensus on the merger was agreed upon through a series of private meetings that Dompok and Kurup would like to keep under wraps until a later date. 

But other leaders of both parties said that Upko decided to postpone its annual congress scheduled for next week to October to enable the merger to politically concretise through further discussions. 

At Upko’s supreme council meeting last month, more than two thirds of its members agreed to the merger proposal tabled by Dompok although one or two members voiced reservations over the leadership line-up.  

Signs of unhappiness over the proposed line-up showed up yesterday at the Tamparuli Upko Youth division meeting where its chief Dennis Gimpah tabled a resolution asking for their division leader Bumburing to remain as deputy president in the merged party. 

Apart from the name and proposed line-up, Dompok and Kurup had also agreed that the various posts in the party not be contested for three years and a provision to have two deputy presidents.  

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