PBS courts former Upko MP

Julia Chan

PBS president Datuk Maximus Ongkili (pic) said his party and former Putatan MP Datuk Marcus Mojigoh were at the exploratory stage in this matter. — Bernama pic

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 27 — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) is ready to accept former Putatan MP Datuk Marcus Mojigoh who left rival party United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) yesterday.

PBS president Datuk Maximus Ongkili said his party and Mojigoh were at the exploratory stage in this matter.

“In our culture if you want to get married you ‘risik-risik’ beforehand. Yesterday was like a ‘risik-risik’ session and for us to enjoy the Chinese New Year festivities,” he said when speaking to reporters at the party’s open house at the Hakka hall here today.

When asked whether Mojigoh has expressed interest in joining PBS, Ongkili said that they have discussed it.

“Yesterday was just warming up. We have to ask him on that matter. But I told him the party’s door is open to anyone who subscribes to our struggles,” he said.

Yesterday, Ongkili visited Mojigoh’s Chinese new year’s open house in Putatan, fuelling rumours that the latter would join PBS.

Mojigoh later confirmed that he, most Upko committee members and some members were quitting the party with immediate effect.

The former Upko treasurer and Putatan division chief said they were unhappy with the party leadership for not listening to grassroots’ grievances.

Ongkili said that he and Mojigoh were good friends from their Parliament days and have been keeping in touch despite being on different sides of the political divide.

“But the party’s door is open to anybody to anyone who wants to subscribe to our struggle. Our uniqueness is that we are multicultural and multiracial and we accept anybody irrespective of their background and religion as long as they subscribe to PBS ideology and struggle,” said Ongkili. 

He also said that as a veteran politician, Mojigoh could be useful in guiding the younger generation.

Earlier, Ongkili said that the party has set up a centre for multicultural studies called the Pairin Centre that will be launched later in the year.

“Essentially it is to promote multicultural studies not just for members but for the public to appreciate our multiethnic population.

“We will continue to play the role of promoting unity among the people,” he said.

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