KOTA KINABALU: Barisan Nasional’s three Kadazandusun Murut-led political parties are working their way to strengthen unity among themselves in order to score big in the upcoming general election.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) acting president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Johnity Ongkili said winning a two-thirds majority in should not be a problem if all coalition components parties were united.
“We have to focus on having a maximum level of unity to get a maximum win. It is known that there is unity among component leaders, but not so much among members including at the division level.”
Ongkili was speaking during the Tatap BN retreat event for the top leaders of PBS, United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) to find common grounds.
Among the issues expected to be looked into during the retreat are religion, citizenship, Sabah rights, illegal immigrants and procedure for both parties to submit a joint proposal on certain issues to the Prime Minister.
Ongkili who is also energy, green technology and water minister said the upcoming election is expected to be tougher than before, and recalcitrant party members would weaken election machinery.
“There are members who like to play around (not serious and tend to disobey leadership). This (attitude) should be gotten rid off as the opposition will move in to take incite hatred and poison their minds.
“If they continue to be ‘naughty’, there will be a system to take action against them,” Ongkili said.
In the last election, there are 13 state and five parliament seats allocated for PBS, six state and four parliamentary seats for Upko and one state and one parliamentary seat for PBRS.
Upko acting president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau expressed a similar sentiment on unity among the parties.
“We sleep with three different pillows but more importantly, we have to share the same dream.”
Wilfred, who is also science, technology and innovation minister, said based on several studies, the people were generally supportive of BN but there was also a high percentage of fence-sitters.
He added common issues raised by some voters include Goods and Services Tax, the high cost of living and Malaysia Agreement 1963.
“These voters are those who have been influenced by the opposition, but there is also no concrete action plan by the latter if they become the government.
“In fact, (Parti) Warisan (Sabah) is the proxy of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, who to spread lies to achieve their own political agenda,” Wilfred said.
Meanwhile, PBRS deputy president Arthur Joseph Kurup said the unity among the three BN components could be reflected through the concept of power-sharing even at the grassroots level.
Arthur also hoped youths would be given more opportunities to take part in politics.
“Sabah is now enjoying a golden age of economy under the leadership of Prime Minister (Datuk Seri Najib Razak) and Chief Minister (Tan Sri Musa Aman).”