MENGGATAL: The Barisan Nasional (BN) leadership must address the issue of “member pinching” among its component parties as it is an unhealthy practice, said United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) secretary general Datuk Wilfred Madius Tangau.
He said the practice is not only affecting Umno but also other BN component parties.
“It is actually happening all over. I can cite you an example of such incident in my constituency Tuaran, where our branch chiefs are being offered the ketua kampung post (by other BN component parties) in return for joining them.
“I think this is very unhealthy and I think the BN leadership should address this because at the end of the day, we are using one symbol which is BN, so whether you try to get (members) from here and there it doesn’t matter,” Madius said.
The former Tuaran Member of Parliament said this when asked to comment on the member pinching issue raised during the Umno Putatan delegate meeting on Saturday. The delegates claimed that one particular BN component party has been pinching Umno members in the Putatan constituency. They also wanted Umno to act urgently on the matter and cautioned that it has and would further damage the relationship between BN component parties in Putatan.
Deputy Chief Minister cum Petagas assemblyman Datuk Seri Panglima Yahya Hussin when officiating the meeting said observation conducted by Umno Putatan showed only one particular BN component party was involved and this was particularly in the Sembulan area.
Without naming the party, Yahya said it had been persuading Umno members in the constituency, especially those from Sembulan, to jump ship by offering them projects in return.
He said that although the number of Umno members who have “jumped ship” was insignificant, the matter should be viewed seriously and not allowed to continue any further.
Madius who was met at the UPKO Kaamatan celebration here yesterday said the party also viewed the issue as serious. “While we view this as something serious, it is not that serious that it affects the relationship of the BN component parties,” he stressed.
Meanwhile, Assistant Finance Minister cum UPKO Information Chief Datuk Donald Mojuntin in response to the issue was of the opinion that it was not a question of pinching, but a matter of choice of an individual. “When people find that you represent them better, they will come to you and there were cases of ‘enticing’ but in UPKO’s case, I don’t think we have enticed anyone.
“We just present the best of our ability (so) I don’t know why we get accused of ‘pinching’ all the time but I hope this type of accusation goes away, especially now that we are facing a lot of problems in the country where there are a lot of issues,” he stressed.
According to the Moyog assemblyman, in Sabah, one of the biggest problems affecting the state is the presence of illegal immigrants. “A lot of people are saying why was a Royal Commission of Inquiry (RCI) formed for a person who is dead but when it comes to the security of Sabah, of the country, the RCI was not formed. “These are questions that can be discussed during the BN meeting and I agree with Datuk Madius that a BN meeting should be held between the leaders of the component parties in Sabah to trash these out. “There is no point to air our dirty laundry in public like this; as far as I am concerned it is unhealthy and I wish people with vested interest will think about the greater good rather than specifically for a group of persons or an individual,” he said.
Earlier, Madius said that in light of all the issues cropping up in the state and among the state BN component parties, it is time for another state BN meeting to trash out all issues and problems.
“With due respect to my friend Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Sabah BN Secretary), there is supposed to be regular meetings, like at the national level where the BN component parties meet every three months without fail,” he said, adding that there are two meetings on the calendar, one for the management committee which is chaired by the Deputy Prime Minister cum Deputy President and the other is the supreme council.
“But here in Sabah unfortunately we have not been able to do that and may I say, we have a very important issue to handle which is the illegal immigrants and we have agreed to set up a committee at the state BN meeting last year to try and resolve the problem but till today, it has not been done.
“We should meet every three months. Sabah BN secretary does call us individually but it is important to hold regular meetings to discuss and resolve specific agendas,” he stressed.
When asked if the ultimate solution to the problems affecting the BN was to have one party instead of a coalition, Madius said that the time for that is not now.
According to him, former Prime Minister Tun Mahathir Mohammad during a forum at the former elected representatives’ event recently pointed out that BN is actually a platform where the various groups in our Malaysian society can sit down together to discuss and communicate.
“We are not ready for it (one party) because the races in Malaysia have their specific demands. Yes we acknowledge all these but we have a place where we all can sit down, a roundtable which is BN and this is the reason why BN is around.
He also said that power sharing is the formula for Malaysia and added: “We must at the end of the day abide with the decision of the BN. Say what you like about BN but this is the beauty of BN, we can sit and talk and discuss.
Hmmm...ahli UPKO join UMNO sebab mereka diabaikan oleh UPKO, ahli UMNO ikut UPKO sebab mereka dijanjikan bulan bintang oleh UPKO..begitu juga dengan ahli PBS yang dipujuk masuk ke UPKO...!! Jadi... apa salahnya kalau komponen lain tu bertindak berbuat perkara yang sama pada UPKO... ARAMAIITE....
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