KOTA KINABALU: Upko tried to look past its dissatisfaction and anger towards Umno for years before deciding once and for all to quit Barisan Nasional after GE14, says its president Datuk Madius Tangau.
In explaining the party’s decision to form the new state government with Parti Warisan Sabah and other component parties following GE14 in 2018, said Madius.
Upko felt that Umno had sabotaged them in many instances over the years.
Giving an example, he claimed that in 2006, then-Upko president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok had objected to the idea of having squatters near the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) area moved to Kg Maang in Penampang.
He had objected to the idea as most of the squatters were illegal immigrants and added that people in Penampang did not want them there.
However, Dompok’s objections had raised the ire of Umno MPs, who told him that Upko can leave Barisan if it was unhappy.
“They did not even consult Upko or the Penampang MP and the people before making this decision, ” said Madius.
He said after much argument and even a demonstration by the Penampang folks, the squatters were then relocated to Kinarut to make way for the expansion of the KKIA runway.
Madius said this was only one of many cases over the years.
He was speaking at a meet-the-people event in Kg Matujung in Membakut, to pitch support for Warisan candidate Datuk Karim Bujang for the coming Kimanis by-election.
Barisan leaders have accused Madius of being a traitor and a party jumper at many speeches throughout the campaign period.
They have also said that Upko’s last minute decision to switch sides to Warisan following GE14 had resulted in Warisan becoming the government.
Earlier, Madius responded to Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s promise to return Sabah and Sarawak their full rights under the Malaysia Agreement 1963 (MA63) by saying that Zahid should be careful of what he is promising.
He said under MA63, there is no official religion for Sabah and Sarawak whereas the official religion for the country at present is Islam.
“If they can fulfil all, then we will thank them but how will they explain to PAS because PAS has made it clear on their stand when it comes to religion, ” he said.
Madius said the people of Sabah must reject racist politics.
“We must preserve and protect our way of life in Sabah, where we are able to live in peace and harmony. We do not want racist politics here. We want sincerity, ” he said.
He also hit out at former Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman who quit Umno to become an independent but is now standing by its side.
As for the continuous play on the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) issue, Madius said the main issue should be how the state government can solve the presence of immigrants and refugees, as well as illegal immigrants in Sabah.
“PSS is to solve the problem, and if Umno thinks otherwise, then tell us, how does Umno plan to solve the issue, ” he asked.