KOTA KINABALU: Incumbent Kiulu assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai says that he has no qualms about working with Datuk Seri Madius Tangau even though Madius joined Warisan Plus, adding that he still considers the Upko president to be a friend.
He said that the Tuaran MP turned his back on the “misompuru” or unity pact between component parties Upko, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) which was used when campaigning in the 14th General Election (GE14) in 2018.
Madius – who left Barisan Nasional in 2018 to join Warisan Plus – is now contesting a state seat for the first time, and is hoping to grab Kiulu from the PBS information chief.
“Professionally, I have no qualms about working together with Madius as the Tuaran MP in the spirit of developing Kiulu but we campaigned together under the 'Misompuru Bersatu' tagline, ” said Joniston.
He added that Madius had proposed the alliance between Upko, PBS and PBRS to face GE14.
"As a result, a presidential council of the three party presidents was set up. Sadly, he suddenly left us after the election to join an alliance of the Warisan-led government," said Joniston while campaigning at Kampung Tudan-Poring in Kiulu on Monday (Sept 14), in a statement issued by his office on Tuesday (Sept 15).
However, Joniston said that if he retains his seat, having elected representatives from two different sides would still augur well for Kiulu.
"If the Warisan Plus state government was willing to cooperate with the Federal Government even though they were on the opposite side, why can't we do the same for Kiulu?
“I don't hate him (Madius). He is still my friend, but he left us," he said.
On another note, Joniston said that PBS is now able to use its own symbol for the state election since the party is no longer in Barisan but is now allies under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah created with Perikatan Nasional and Barisan.
In the coming elections, PBRS remains a Barisan partner.
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