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UPKO acts up; coalition woes could widen

13th June, 2018


KOTA KINABALU: The Warisan-Pakatan Harapan-Upko State government that swept to power less than a month ago was faced with yet another ‘test’ on Monday when the partners quarrelled.

UPKO yesterday issued a scathing statement reprimanding Deputy Chief Minister Christina Liew for failing to acknowledge its important role in the formation of the current State government.

According to Upko Deputy Secretary-General, Georgina George, Liew failed to do so when presenting her motion of vote of confidence to support Chief Minister Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal at the special sitting of the State Assembly on Monday.

“The fact that she did not even acknowledge in her speech the importance of UPKO’s support in forming the current Sabah Government is disappointing.

“She has certainly forgotten that it was Upko who took the hard stance to leave BN to support Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal to form the State Government when Star (Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku) brought two ADUNs (state assemblymen) to support BN (at a critical juncture) when Warisan+PH pact and the BN-Star pact both had 29 seats,” said Georgina in a statement late Monday.

She stressed that for the Warisan+PH+Upko government to work, the first to be observed is basic respect and recognition of the partners’ contribution.

“We are not asking you to put Upko on the altar, but the fact that you conveniently belittled Upko’s contribution is regrettable.

“The UPKO supreme council decided that the party needed to do the right thing to (reflect) the wishes of the Sabahans, but looks like we are not being appreciated by someone who is the DCM today because of our support for this State Government led by Datuk Seri Shafie … this is uncalled for.

“I hope that moving forward partner-parties will learn to respect each other instead of behaving like a big sister,” Georgina added.

Meanwhile, Upko’s Kuamut assemblyman Masiung Banah had earlier demanded for the wordings in the motion to be amended to reflect Upko’s importance in the formation of the Sabah government.

He insisted to put the record straight that his party had made huge sacrifices to help form the government along with Warisan, PKR and DAP and they should be given due recognition.

“This government would not have been formed if Upko did not sacrifice its principles. “People are also saying we did not play a big role… that must be corrected because this is history, or else Upko will be condemned and ridiculed,” Masiung said.

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