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Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Upko leader slams Sabah PKR for not appreciating its role

Deputy secretary-general Georgina George says Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew has failed to recognise the party's contribution

KOTA KINABALU - The newly-minted Sabah government is set to be tested after a scathing remark from an Upko leader who slammed Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew’s motion when tabling the vote of confidence to support Shafie Apdal as Sabah chief minister.

Upko deputy secretary-general Georgina George lambasted Liew, who is Sabah PKR chief, for not acknowledging the critical role played by the party in the formation of the Sabah government when she tabled the motion in the special state assembly sitting today.

“The fact that she (Liew) did not even acknowledge the importance of Upko’s support to form the current Sabah government in her speech today is disappointing.

“She has certainly forgotten that it was Upko who took the hard stance to leave Barisan Nasional and support Shafie to form the state government when Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) brought two assemblymen to support BN, resulting in Parti Warisan Sabah and its ally Pakatan Harapan both having 29 seats,” Georgina said in a statement.

She said for the Warisan-PH-Upko government to work, the first fundamental rule was respect and recognition of a partner’s contribution.

“We are not asking you to put Upko on the altar, but the fact that you conveniently belittled Upko’s contribution is regrettable.

“The Upko supreme council decided that the party needs to do the right thing to restore the wishes of Sabahans but looks like we are not being appreciated by someone who is the deputy chief minister today because of our support for this state government.

“I hope that moving forward, partner-parties will learn to respect each other instead of behaving like a big sister,” she said.

Upko’s Kuamut assemblyman Masiung Banah had earlier today demanded for the motion to be amended to reflect Upko’s importance in the formation of the Sabah government.

He wanted to put the record straight that his party had made huge sacrifices to help form the government along with Warisan, PKR and DAP and they should be given due recognition.

“This government would not have been formed if Upko did not sacrifice its principles.

“People are also saying we did not play a big role… that must be corrected because this is history, or else Upko will be condemned and ridiculed,” Masiung said.

The state faced a constitutional crisis when the Sabah head of state made Shafie the chief minister less than 48 hours after swearing in Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman Musa Aman on May 10.

With Warisan and its ally PH tied with Sabah BN at 29 seats each following the May 9 election, Musa was able to form the government after gaining a slight majority of 31 seats following STAR’s decision to join forces with BN.

However, the Warisan president was sworn in by Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin on May 12, after four Umno and two Upko reps frogged to the Warisan-PH fold. Two more reps each from Umno and Upko also defected later.

Upko acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau announced a day after the May 9 election that Upko had left the BN to work with the Warisan and PH in the interest of the people who wanted change.

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