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Upko opens doors to other races in rebrand bid
Published on: Sunday, November 24, 2019
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KOTA KINABALU: Sabah’s United Pasok Momogun KadazanDusun Murut Organisation (Upko) will be known as the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation, welcoming other races into the party as it undergoes yet another rebranding in its 20 years of existence.

Upko is widely known as a KadazanDusun Murut-based (KDM) party.

Former Chief Minister Bernard Giluk Dompok changed his Parti Demokratik Sabah (PDS) which was formed in 1994 to Upko in 1999. The original Upko was forced to close shop by Tun Fuad Stephens in 1967, amid protests from members.

Upko President Wilfred Madius Tangau (pic) announced the rebranding and the name change at the party’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) at the Kota Kinabalu Community Hall and said the decision came after more than six months of discussions among party leaders.

“We need to change or else we would be changed. We have returned to this hall to reignite the spirit of Upko, which stresses on unity. This is the time we blend Upko as our own, regardless of religion, background, ethnicity and skin colour.

“With this, we will work together, based on our common grounds and understanding of our differences. We have to accept the reality that for half a century, we have been too focused on racial, religious and backgrounds that have divided us,” he said in his speech at the party’s EGM here.

In the rebranding process, the party also made four resolutions related to the party’s constitution, branch administration, trustee board, citizenship and nation-building.

These were supported by all 319 representatives from 20 party divisions who attended the EGM. The party’s logo has been modified, with the introduction of a red colour, instead of just blue.

Madius, who is also Sabah deputy chief minister, said the party will still continue to champion a solution for the illegal immigrant problem in Sabah.

Also present at the EGM were state Rural Development Minister Ewon Benedick, Upko Youth chief Felix Saang, Women’s chief Juiianna Jani and other party members.

Meanwhile, Madius said he would present Upko’s resolution on the Sabah Temporary Pass (PSS) in due course.

“I thank all the seven speakers for the proposal. We will organise and integrate with the findings from another roundtable discussion before we present it to the Government,” he said.

On average, all the speakers expressed their dissatisfaction with the Home Ministry’s decision to issue the PSS for IMM13 holders, “Kad Burung-Burung” and census certificates for a three-year period beginning June next year.

“Therefore, I also agree with the conference, that before taking any action, the Government must answer all of the critical questions that arise above, in a clear, convincing and unambiguous manner, based on the legal framework in Malaysia,” he added.

Upko already had a closed roundtable discussion earlier this month, and will present the findings of the programme in another similar meeting but open to the public in the near future.

“We will invite all the stakeholders, assemblymen including from the opposition, to come and contribute so that we can come up with the best solution to propose to the government,” he said.


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