Upko members feeling depressed
Published on: Sunday, May 19, 2019
By: Leonard Alaza

PUTATAN: Former Member of Parliament Datuk Dr Marcus Mojigoh (pic) claims there is a sense of disillusionment among party members in the division a year after Upko left the Barisan Nasional to form a coalition State Government with Parti Warisan Sabah, PKR and DAP.

He said it was basically over their own party and the State leadership. “It is disheartening. Some were forced to ‘cari makan’ (look for opportunities) elsewhere to survive,” said the Upko division head.

He said among the reasons are that they have been sidelined by the State leadership and elected representatives in the area, even though the party is now supposed to be part of the ruling coalition.

“The feeling is felt more by party members in the division who are non-Kadazandusun.

“The reaction I get from members especially those who are not Kadazans is that there is no use remaining in the party. They told me that they feel neglected and sidelined. I feel the same way too,” he said, after hosting the annual Upko Putatan breaking of fast, Saturday.

“I can’t blame them. But because all these years we have been together serving the community, I know they are still with me. Whenever I invite them to attend programmes like this, they would always come,” he said.

He said he could understand the feelings of members who had held on to the promise that their grassroots leaders would not lose their posts after the change of government.

“(Parti Warisan Sabah President Datuk Seri Mohd) Shafie (Apdal) had made a promise at our annual general meeting that our grassroots leaders would not be touched.

“But as things turned out, we have zero. I’m not asking for many posts. If two or three from our party in the division were appointed as community leaders, we would feel relieved,” he said, adding that many Upko grassroots leaders in Putatan are more than qualified to hold leadership roles.

He said the situation has caused party members in the division to think that they have been treated like the opposition.

He said the internal affairs of the party have also contributed to this general feeling of disillusionment.

“This was the very reason I got upset when the president of our party mentioned in his speech that Upko was only for the Kadazandusun. (His speech) affected the party branches in the division whose members comprised people who are not Kadazandusun. As a result, many left.

“After I reacted to his speech, they returned to the party and many of the branches were reinstated. It was also the general feeling of party leaders that this (Upko is only for Kadazandusun) should not be so in view of the fact that there are party members who are Orang Asli (in the peninsula Malaysia), Bajaus, Chinese and Sarawak natives,” he said.

Mojigoh said it was for this reason he called for Upko to be rebranded so it would be more inclusive.

He said party members in the grassroots have also generally agreed that Upko should stick to its constitution that membership is open for all Malaysians, regardless of their race and ethnicity.

However, he said he did not understand why the party has yet to call for a meeting to decide on the matter. 


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