Kota Marudu Member of Parliament

Ongkili ready to undertake mammoth task as PBS acting President

KOTA MARUDU, Jan 7, 2017: Parti Bersatu Sabah acting President Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili described his appointment as “a mammoth task”, especially when succeeding leadership of the oldest political party in Sabah.
Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili (fourth left) handling over the letter of occupancy to one of the recipients of the newly completed 20 doors semi-concrete Kg Barangkason Long House today. Also in photo is the Sabah State Development Officer Ruji Ubi (fifth left). 
 
“I thank Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan and the Supreme Council for the trust and confidence in me to lead the party to its next phase,” said Energy, Green Technology and Water Minister. 
 
PBS, he added, was established by national statesmen in Pairin, who founded and led the party for 32 years.
  
Obviously looking highly on his mentor, Ongkili, when describing Pairin, noted him as “truly a veteran politician who has been an elected member of parliament and assemblyman for the last 40 years.”
 
Pairin entered politics in 1976, contested 10 times for the state seat of Tambunan and eight times for Parliament seat of Keningau, and has an unbroken record of winning streak.
 
“It is therefore both a privilege as well as a giant responsibility to take PBS forward and fill in the shoes left by Tan Sri Pairin,” said Ongkili, after launching a semi-concrete longhouse in Kampung Barangkason, Matunggong, here.
 
PBS, he added, is unique party and is the only truly multiracial party in Malaysia, with 130,000 members comprised roughly 40 per cent non-Muslim Bumiputera, 30 per cent Muslim Bumiputera and 30 per cent Chinese.
 
“Our struggle in PBS is the pursuit of political change and economic development through the party's multiracial politics. We are fighter for the ideals of moderation and justice, in line with the 1Malaysia concept.
 
“Central to our struggle is the pursuit to national and state security and the protection of Sabah's rights in the Federation as contained in the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” he said.
 
The 63-year-old Kota Marudu Member of Parliament stressed that the party’s task ahead is to persist in these matters, further spread and promote multiracialism in Malaysia.
 
“I had the privilege of graduating from Tan Sri Pairin’s school of politics, as his deputy for continuous 23 years.
 
“Today, we have a good crop of multiracial leaders, who are proven, bold and visionary to continue the struggles, and ensure PBS’ political maxim be sustainable indefinitely,” he said.
 
Ongkili said that in the days and months ahead the party will have to reinvent, restructure and refocus both in terms of party administration and recruitment of members.
 
He noted that an exciting development is the approval by the Registrar of Society for PBS to expand branches to Sarawak and the Peninsula Malaysia, adding: “We want to share the multiracial political concept to all Malaysians and serve the Sabahans in the Peninsula.
 
“With everybody’s support and cooperation, and the availability of wisdom from Tan Sri Pairin as the advisor, I am confident the new team can strengthen and reposition the party as a formidable political force in the state and national umbrella under the political partnership of the Barisan Nasional,” he said.
 
Pairin, on Friday, announced that he was taking leave from his presidential duties and passed the baton to Ongkili during PBS’ first Supreme Council Meeting at the party’s headquarter’s newly launched conference room in Donggongon, Penampang.
 
The 77-year-old senior politician, who was appointed Sabah’s seventh Chief Minister, was calm throughout the meeting. He later excused himself after delivering his remarks to allow his successor to chair the meeting.
 
When met at the party’s annual congress last year, the Huguan Siou (Paramount Leader of the KadazanDusun), who is working on a book, hinted retirement and was looking forward to “playing with my grandchildren”.
 
At the event, Ongkili launched the 25th longhouse here, a 20 door semi-concrete structure, benefitting about 100 villagers.