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Monday, July 16, 2018

Tangau must step down as MP, say Tuaran voters

KOTA KINABALU - A group of voters from Tuaran have called on Upko acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau to vacate his MP seat, claiming he had violated the people’s trust after the 14th general election (GE14).

Afizal Aldin, who said he represented about 150 voters from Tuaran, claimed that many Tuaran residents were unhappy when Tangau decided to bring his party out of the Barisan Nasional to ally itself with Parti Warisan Sabah and Pakatan Harapan.

“For us, Tangau’s action is a betrayal of the votes and trust given by the electorate in Tuaran.

“In line with this, Tangau should step down from his parliamentary seat,” said the 37-year-old on the sidelines of the Black Sunday peaceful rally here today.

Upko left the former ruling coalition a day after the May 9 election, with Tangau announcing the party would be forming a coalition government with Warisan, alongside PH’s component parties, PKR and DAP, in Sabah.

Tangau’s announcement came at a critical point following the election where BN and Warisan-PH were tied at 29 state seats each, with the remaining two held by Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR).

Upko’s action raised voters’ ire towards the party, in particular Tangau, with many labelling the party and its acting president as “frogs”.

Following Upko’s exit from BN, Tangau said: “When Upko was formed in 1994, our intention was to fight for the rights of the KDM (Kadazan Dusun Murut) people and we believe by forming a coalition government with Warisan, we will be able to have a continuity for our struggle.”

Tangau has since been appointed as one of Sabah’s deputy chief ministers and also the state trade and industry minister in Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s Cabinet.

With Upko jumping ship, it initially meant that Warisan-PH attained a total of 33 seats, including five seats Upko won under the BN’s ticket – Paginatan, Kuamut, Nabawan, Kadamaian and Kuala Penyu.

However, the five Upko assemblymen were unaware Tangau had pledged the party’s allegiance to Warisan president Shafie Apdal and they had instead pledged their support to former Sabah BN chairman Musa Aman, who is also Sungai Sibuga assemblyman.

As a result, Musa formed the state government with a simple majority of 31 seats on May 10 after STAR agreed to work with BN.

Two of Upko’s assemblymen were also named as ministers in Musa’s short-lived state Cabinet.

Less than 48 hours after Musa’s swearing in, Shafie was sworn in as the chief minister by Sabah governor Juhar Mahiruddin after the Semporna MP-cum-Senallang assemblymen secured a clear majority to form the government.

This was due to the defections of four Umno reps, namely Hamisa Samat (Tanjung Batu), Osman Jamal (Balung), Abdul Muis Picho (Sebatik) and Jamawi Jaafar (Kemabong) and two Upko assemblymen Abidin Madingkir (Paginatan) and Ewon Benedick (Kadamaian).

By Durie Rainer Fong

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