Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Pairin ’99pc’ not in GE14, urges support for Maximus

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Joseph Pairin Kitingan has “confirmed” that he will not be contesting in GE14 and instead urged support for his deputy, Maximus Jonity Ongkili.

There’s no timeframe to hand over the party’s reins to his number two but the Huguan Siou qualified his statement with a caveat that “99 per cent” he would not be in GE14 as he would be retired.

Pairin, 76, who founded PBS 31 years ago, was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the 31st annual party meet.

“I am retiring,” said Pairin, also deputy chief minister and State Minister for Infrastructure Development.

“I want to do something else,” said Pairin in a Borneo Post report. “Go play with my grandchildren and write my still unfinished book … never finishing, it seems.”

Earlier, during his policy speech, he reminded the leadership that transition in the party began in July with the next step being the full handing over of duties (to Maximus) as the acting president.

 
 

The PBS chief expressed confidence that Maximus, “with the support and assistance from other ever-loyal colleagues in PBS”, would be able to bring the party to greater heights.

Giving an update on the party, he said it would launch two branches in Malaysia – in Kuala Lumpur as well – for Sabahans and others interested in the party.

In addition, as part of a rebranding process, party divisions would woo the Gen Y to increase the membership as well as continue the struggle. It’s about staying relevant in the hearts of the people, “young and old”.

“We do not want to be known as an ‘old people’s party’,” said Pairin. “Not only will young blood continue our struggle, but also share new ideas that would further strengthen PBS.”

“The party’s struggle must continue,” he reiterated. “The young are our hope, they are the future.”

Pairin declined to go into his legacy.

“I will let you people, the young guys, look at what has been there in terms of what has happened,” he explained. “Whatever that’s good, they can say it’s my legacy.”

Pairin would continue with his ministerial duties and with the NGOs “until the end of the current Parliament and Sabah Assembly”.