PENAMPANG 5/11/2012: United Pasokmomogun KadazanDusun Murut Organization (UPKO) leaders had discussed the issue of leaving Barisan Nasional (BN).
According to its president, Tan Sri Bernard Dompok, the issue had been discussed and deliberated by UPKO’s Supreme Council during its meeting but it was decided that the party would stay in BN.
Dompok said this when asked to comment on the claims by former UPKO leaders Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and Datuk Maijol Mahap that the party was on the verge of quitting BN.
Speaking to reporters after officiating UPKO Penampang and Kota Kinabalu divisions joint delegates convention here yesterday, Dompok when asked to confirm the allegations said: “That is very easy? There have been people who wanted to talk about these things so we put it to the supreme council and it was deliberated.
“The majority voice was for us to go along with BN because of what BN has been doing as far as the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the presence of illegal immigrants in Sabah and all those things.
“So I can confirm that it was discussed but the party decided not to go along these lines,” he said.
When asked if that meant the former UPKO leaders were not being accurate in their statements to the media, the Penampang member of parliament replied: “That cannot be true because there was a party meeting (and) we put it up. There was nothing for us to hide (and) I think everybody knows we had a meeting.”
Last week, former UPKO deputy president Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing and former party vice president Datuk Maijol Mahap claimed that the party had been on the verge of leaving BN.
Maijol also claimed that the exit did not happen because Prime Minister cum BN chairman Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak promised to make the announcement on the setting up of the Royal Commission of Inquiry on the illegal immigrant issue and extraordinary increase in Sabah population.
“For the record, initially UPKO leaders have decided and were prepared to bring UPKO out of BN and join PR. In fact immediately before the function on 29th July 2012, there were suggestions coming from several UPKO leaders requesting Bumburing and his group to postpone their intended date to quit BN-UPKO.
“They eventually agreed to let Bumburing go first while UPKO leaders sort out some technicalities. However, all these notions suddenly changed when Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib promised to announce the formation of RCI which would be made on August 11, 2012,” Maijol said.
His statement was refuted by UPKO treasurer general Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh who was of the opinion that Maijol was inventing all kinds of stories to justify their action of leaving BN.
“As an UPKO leader, I never missed any discussion pertaining to party matters and I never heard nor any intention of the party to leave BN. As far as I can remember Maijol himself has never said he will leave BN.
“During one of our supreme council meetings, one of our members did suggest that the party should leave BN not because of RCI but on overall matters. That proposal was debated and was defeated and thrown out,” Marcus claimed.
by Nancy Lai