KOTA KINABALU 21/11/2012: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan yesterday advised party members to be forward-looking and to get ready for “changes” in the party’s leadership.
The Deputy Chief Minister reiterated that the coming general election would be his last but left the issue on the party’s leadership succession plan unclear, keeping party members guessing whether he wanted to continue leading the party or pass the baton down.
Pairin when officiating at the PBS Youth and Wanita annual general meeting here, however said that the party needed to be prepared for the future and accept unavoidable changes when the time came.
“I’m mentioning this in a practical sense because when I really reach that certain age where I need to rest, there has to be changes, that is natural.
“So, I just want to prepare our mindset, because like the Malay saying: patah tumbuh, hilang berganti (no one is indispensable),”
Pairin, who has led PBS since founding it in 1985, said although he was still being held in high regards and had the support to continue to lead, one must look ahead and plan for the future.
“So, we have to think about it, and I just want to state that I will continue to struggle with you as long as I can,” he said.
Asked to elaborate when met later, Pairin said there was no need to explain further on the matter as he was just giving a pointer so that everybody would be ready for the changes.
He said it was better to be practical about the issue and the important thing was that he would always be there for PBS.
Meanwhile, commenting on UPKO Keningau division’s call for revival of the rotation system for the chief minister’s post, he said it was not the right time to deliberate on the issue.
“I have said enough, we have talked about rotation system before. Basically, I was the one who stopped the system because it was bringing damage to the administration and economy of Sabah.
“And to talk about it again, it’s not to say that there is something wrong that we talk about it, but for me it is not the correct time,” he said.
Discussing the issue, according to him, would only raise questions and perceptions among the public.
“But I think we should not go back and mess up our parliamentary system, because leaders come and go, and if there are reasons to change leadership, I think that can come about through the necessary discussions and round table deliberation, and of course the decision lies with the leadership and the people,” he said.
by Murib Morpi