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PBS lacks ‘will’ to change

By Calvin Kabaron
TAMBUNAN : Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), which is said to be Umno’s strongest ally in Sabah, is allegedly losing members to either Umno, PKR or DAP.

Party insiders said memberships in some divisions, especially in constituencies represented by Umno, has dwindled so much that they are unable to reflect a ‘good blend’ of societies within the area.

They described the condition as reflective of a Malay adage: “Hidup segan, mati pun tak mahu”.
The insiders pointed out that while divisional leaders and their youth chiefs were worried, the senior national leaders seemed unperturbed and appear to be in denial.

Citing the party’s campaign to woo new members, one divisional leader here said: “The party had launched a campaign to get every existing member to enroll at least another member but this has not been followed up.

“I think the party has forgotten about this as PBS nowadays is different from those years when its leaders were on the ground with the people.”

The leader, who declined to be named, said the situation was so bad that it had affected the morale of the rank-and-file in many divisions.

“Did you hear of any activities by PBS lately? No. It is not easy to meet senior leaders. This is compounded by our own failures to source for sponsors for any meaningful activity,” he said adding that not many people wanted to volunteer during this inflation period.

“I don’t know really how many members we have as many of our old members are still on the list but they have been seen with other groups.

“They would only be expected to pay their fees during annual general meeting. We shall see later this year,” he added.

‘No PBS spirit’

Another divisional leader, who also requested anonymity, said except for those who chased contract jobs with the government, everyone else in PBS seemed to be keeping a low profile for the moment.

“There is no spirit anymore, I don’t know why. PBS must get on its legs and walk with the people, otherwise we would be irrelevant in four years time,” he said alluding to the next general election.

In October last year, during its annual general meetings, PBS youth delegates pleaded to leaders to go down to the grassroots and explain the party’s priorities, now that it was back again in the mainstream of development.

PBS, which was formed in 1985, abruptly left the ruling coalition of Barisan Nasional (BN) in 1990.

It was re-admitted again 12 years later in January 2002, three months after its president Joseph Pairin Kitingan tearfully pleaded with BN’s then powerful chairman, Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

In October 2013, a Tambunan youth committee member Carl Martin Albert, while debating Pairin’s policy speech, said the party leaders needed to stay in touch with the youth in keeping with the national transformation programme.

“Based on statistic for the previous general election, the youth represented seven million voters and this means they have a position.

“It is time for us to deliberate and identify our potential young leaders as other party components have done so. We need to follow their example,” he had said.

Albert further stated that PBS needed to close the gap between the young and the old in order to move together.

“It is vital for the youth to contribute their ideas to achieve this transformation,” he said while expressing his concern that PBS had not initiated any move to explain the national transformation programme to the grassroot.

“Every time we hear a transformation speech, we are excited but it is useless when nothing is being done to implement it,” Albert said.

Disinterest within party

PBS Youth Movement vice-chief, Christopher Mandut, from Kota Marudu, also stressed the need for PBS to get closer to the young voters.

“In the 13th general election (which was in May 2013), the younger generation gave us a signal of the need to approach and pull them into the party.

“This is important as support from this group will ensure PBS continues to be strong and relevant for the next general election,” Mandut said.

PBS took a beating in the recently-concluded general election, losing its bastion in Matunggung, Kadamaian and Api-Api, and almost lost in as many seats including Keningau and Tambunan (represented by Pairin) and Kota Marudu (represented by deputy president Maximus Ongkili who won it only by 600 votes).

Another concerned PBS leader told FMT that the party needed to stay in-touch with reality on the ground.

“Don’t speak on other big programmes lah, just click the party website and you will see what I mean.

“The pictures of old party office-bearers are still there, months after they were defeated in October 2013.

“If they have the will, they could have updated it on the very day on Oct 23 last year, it is simple,” he pointed out.

A check on the party’s official website, found that photos of two former senior leaders, Henrynus Amin and Almudin Kaida, were still up at the top.

Henrynus is currently without any post after he was defeated by Ongkili for the number two position last year.

In the same polls. Almudin was also unseated as deputy president by a woman leader Jamilah Sulaiman. Jamilah’s photo is nowhere on the official website.

Former secretary-general Henrynus has since been replaced by Johnny Mositun who is also Sabah state assembly deputy speaker.

“Small things? Maybe,  but it speaks volumes of the party and leadership, doesn’t it?,” said the leader.


  1. Parti Babi sial tukang mengampu dan penyukung kuat UMNO Malaya !!

    Tingu tu muka dua ekor bikin panas..


  2. PBS is a sunset party .. Tumonob noh, yang tinggal dalam sana sama ada yg ada kepentingan pangkat dan projek atau mereka yg memasang angan2 mahu jadi calon BN-PBS..Larilah sebelum kapal kamu karam bersama para pemimpin kamu yg makin gemuk dan berat itu,


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