KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah deputy president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili has clarified that he was merely referring to the history of Sabah politics and stating the facts when commenting on "political leap-frogging" in Sabah.
He said in a statement here that he had never intended to hurt or attack any personalities or was targeting any individual when commenting on the recent action of three Barisan Nasional members in Sabah who defected to the opposition.
The Science, Technology and Innovation Minister was referring to a news report on his comments on Barisan leaders Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin,Datuk Wilfred Bumburing and Datuk Maijol Mahap who recently jumped ship.
On Thursday, Ongkili was asked by reporters on whether there would be a repeat of the 1994 state polls when several prominent Sabah politicians left the then opposition PBS to defect to BN.
"In naming those who had indeed defected in the 1994 political episode of Sabah, I did not have malice towards any leaders.
"I was purely illustrating how during that episode in the 1990s the people of Sabah had reacted towards politicians who had crossed over," he said.
PUTRAJAYA: PBS deputy president Datuk Seri Maximus Johnity Ongkilihas warned political frogs that they will be duly “punished” by the KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) community in Sabah.
He said the state has had a long history of politicians crossing over to the opposing side when it suits their needs, and Sabahans, particularly the KDMs have always given the appropriate response.
Taking the example of the 1999 state election, Maximus said voters booted out several prominent politicians for having defected to Barisan Nasional from the-then opposition PBS in the 1994 state polls.
“By and large, (it is the) ethics of the KDM people. They don't like party hoppers, don't like people without principles.
“In 99 we had the state elections for the first time after the (1994) hopping. Except for (Datuk Seri) Lajim (Ukin), (Datuk Seri) Wilfred (Bumburing) and (Tan Sri Bernard) Dompok, became victims (of an unhappy electorate).
Ongkili exchanging documents with Mozambique conterpart Prof. Dr. Venancio Massingue on the increase bilateral cooperation in science and technology
“He (Dompok) was Chief Minister, and Bumburing was a deputy Chief Minister... that's how Sabah people mete out punishment to people without principles,” he said after signing a memorandum of understanding on science and technology cooperation between Malaysia and Mozambique here, Thursday.
PBS lost its grip on Sabah in 1994 after a nine-year rule, following a spate of defections to Barisan post-elections.
Among the prominent defectors then were Bernard and Wilfred, who went on to form Upko, and Lajim, who joined Umno.
By JOSEPH SIPALAN