By S Pathmawathy
Tuaran MP Wilfred Mojilip Bumburing today announced his decision to leave BN by quitting the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko), promising to lend support to Pakatan Rakyat.
“I have discussed this with several of Upko’s supreme council members and division leaders. We are leaving BN,” said the Upko deputy president at the launch of Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) in Tuaran.
“I am still faithful to Upko, but I am resigning from Barisan Nasional,” he told supporters at function in Tuaran this afternoon.
Last week, Bumburing (right) quit as the constituency’s BN chairperson without citing any specific reasons.
Today, he revealed that frustration with BN’s broken promises, especially in dealing with the escalating number of undocumented immigrants in the state and the petroleum royalties issue had sparked his move.
The announcement was made on the platform of a newly formed political entity Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS).
It was attended by PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and several Pakatan Rakyat leaders from Peninsula Malaysia.
A similar gathering will held in Beaufort tonight, where the MP for the constituency Lajim Ukin and Anwar are expected to address supporters.
Lajim (right) is expected to announce the formation of Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) which, together with APS, will make up the Sabah Reform Front (SRF).
Dare to Umno
Yesterday, Lajim had quit all his positions in Umno and dared the party to sack him. Prime Minister Najib Abdul Razak is expected to remove him as a deputy minister tomorrow.
“This is the mother of all problems in Sabah… the flooding of illegal immigrants,” Bumburing said in a delayed video broadcast on the UStream TV Merdeka Rakyat website.
“When Sabah agreed to join Malaya to form Malaysia in 1963, the federal government promised to protect Sabah,” he said adding that Sabah’s population then was about 600,000.
In 2010, the population census showed that there are now more than 3.5 million people in Sabah, or a 390 percent increase in just about half a century, said Bumburing in accusing the federal government of handing out citizenships arbitrarily.
“When Dr Mahathir (Mohamad) became the prime minister the problems with immigrants were left unheeded.
“We accept that there is no one country without a migrant population. But I must stress here that we don’t have a problem with those who have moved here decades ago and followed the right procedure to obtain their citizenships.
“We are worried about those who came yesterday and managed to get their identification cards today,” he said.
Najib’s RCI promise not fulfilled
Despite countless appeals and memorandums, Bumburing said Putrajaya has kept a pin-drop silence on the issue.
“Waiting for BN to form the royal commission of inquiry to probe the immigrant problem is not going to work anymore.
“Three times Najib (left) has visited Sabah since he made the announcement that a RCI will be formed, but until today we have yet to see it happen,” he added.
It is folly to wait for BN to act on Sabah’s grouses, warned Bumburing, calling on those present to vote for the opposition in the upcoming polls, speculated to be held as soon as September.
Among others issues highlighted were the lack of action taken in upholding native customary rights (NCR) and oil royalty privileges.
On the matter of APS, Bumburing explained that it would be a non-political entity, to create a platform to network among politicians, aligned to BN’s rival Pakatan Rakyat.
The former Sabah deputy chief minister also announced that he, together with several others, will embark on a state-wide tour to promote the opposition’s agenda.
“I know how hard it is for Bumburing to exit Upko. He is loyal to the party,” said Anwar, in welcoming the move.
In the 2008 general election, Bumburing defeated PKR’s Ansari Abdullah with a 6,622-vote majority against his nearest rival, who garnered 11,023 votes.
Parliamentary constituencies in Sabah and Sarawak make up 57 seats of the 222 federal parliamentary seats, where BN won 55 seats against Pakatan MPs Hiew King Cheu (DAP-Kota Kinabalu) and Chong Chieng Jen (DAP-Bandar Kuching).
BN lost three more constituencies when Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) left the ruling coalition with two of its MPs backing the opposition, while DAP’s Wong Ho Leng won Sibu in a by-election, which fell vacant after the death of Robert Lau Hoi Chew. – Mkini