Hmmm. The Kadazandusun Paramount Leader finally made a stand. To me, he has been very quiet in the recent issues of illegal immigrants and Mykad ownerships. So now he has made a stand. But it is a personal stand against former premier Dr Mahathir Mohamed. To me, its a sign of desperation. PBS’ return to BN occurred during the twilight of the Mahathir-era. It is a known fact that the 2 resented each other since the 1990 PBS pullout from the Barisan Nasional.
Since the Prime Minister’s announcement of not defending the UMNO presidency, everybody is re-positioning themselves in the political landscape. The air is hot that Dr Mahathir will make a return to the national scene once Najib Razak’s position as Prime Minister is secured. He could even be a ‘minister mentor’ in the new cabinet. So, if Dr M is back in power, then Pairin will have to find other avenues fast in order not to be swallowed alive in the ‘cleansing’ process that is certainly to be followed.
My money will be on PBS’ pullout next year.
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) said it was bullied by the Umno-led Barisan Nasional (BN) when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamed was Prime Minister.
Its President Datuk Seri Joseph Pairin Kitingan said after attending the Rural Development Ministry Hari Raya open house in Sembulan, Monday.
“If I were to look back, during the time of Dr Mahathir, of course we were bullied.”
He said the over the years, there have a number of cases where people have raised the issue of a BN component bullying its partners.
However, he said the most important is to sit down and discuss the issue in a roundtable meeting in the spirit of the BN.
He also said that Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi had commented on the issue recently.
Abdullah said that Umno had never bullied its partners in the BN and blamed the opposition parties for coming up with such an accusation to deny the people’s support for the ruling coalition.
He said that if Umno had bullied its partners, other component parties would have left the BN a long time ago. PBS left the BN in 1990 and rejoined the coalition a decade later.
Meanwhile, Pairin said MCA was only thinking of itself when it proposed two deputy chairman posts in Barisan Nasional (BN) with one of them filled by an MCA leader.
He said since the issue was brought up in the open, it meant that the MCA is using the subject as a political tool.
While the proposal is not an urgent issue, he felt other parties might demand similar recognition should the extra BN deputy chairman post be created.
“If you create an extra (post), why not another oneÉwhat about Sabah and Sarawak,” he said.
He was asked to comment on a statement by former MCA Youth chief, Datuk Liow Tiong Lai at the MCA Youth delegates conference in Kuala Lumpur recently.
Liow had said that the extra post is necessary to reflect the position, importance and representation of all the component parties.
Pairin, who is Deputy Chief Minister cum Rural Development Minister, however said in the 50 years the BN has been operating, the system of one Chairman and one Deputy Chairman has been working very well.
Nevertheless, he said that such suggestion should be presented in a more formal manner through a working paper for consideration and discussion within the BN roundtable meeting.
However, he stressed that more pressing and important issues such as the implementation of various promises to complete unfinished development programmes should be given more priority.
“We all ought to try and be level-headed and to ensure that we do not bring ourselves and the country into a situation where we would find ourselves in difficulty to cope,” he said.
He said that political parties which intend to be champions for the people would only make things worse if they terlanjur kata (go overboard in their statement).
“In the BN spirit, we all ought to sit down together and talk in a roundtableÉthis is a very sensible way.
“We must not fall into the trap of getting our emotion all worked up to the extent that we cannot think rationally,” he said.
Pairin said that in all they do, they must think in the context of what is good for the country in general. He expressed hope that political leaders would help bring about a more sober situation to that the family spirit of the BN could be maintained.
Personally, he said that irrespective of whether an extra post for deputy chairman is created, the most important is power sharing.
“It’s all a question of equitable sharing, fairness and justice and feeling of a win-win situation,” he said.
He said by establishing another post, the government would have to fork out extra money when they are supposed to be prudent during the economically challenging period.
Also present were his assistant ministers Datuk Sairin Karno and Datuk Ghulam Haidar Khan Bahadar.