Wed, 6 Dec 2023



Pairin not making comeback: Joachim
Published on: Thursday, September 21, 2023
By: Ricardo Unto
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Pairin not making comeback: Joachim
Pairin (middle) is not coming back, full stop. Maximus (right) has appointed a special task force to look after the party in his absence and chaired by me,” Joachim (left) said.
Kota Kinabalu: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) has refuted rumours of party founder Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan returning to helm the presidency.

PBS Deputy President Datuk Seri Dr Joachim Gunsalam said party president Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili is recovering well and still very much involved with the running of the party.

“Tan Sri (Pairin) is not coming back, full stop. The President (Maximus) has appointed a special task force to look after the party in his absence and chaired by me,” he told a press conference, Wednesday.

“The President is still running the party, and we (special task force) are doing the work.

“We will see whether he wants to extend the task force after the party’s congress.”

Aside from Joachim, the task force includes PBS Deputy Presidents Datuk Seri Dr Yee Moh Chai and Datuk Jahid Jahim, Sec-Gen Datuk Julita Majungki, Treasurer-Gen Lu Kim Yen and Information Chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

Maximus’ recent non-appearance at public events and not issuing any statements have fuelled speculations about his health and the party presidency.

On the party’s congress to be held this Sunday (Sept 24) at Hongkod Koisaan KDCA, Penampang, Maximus would attend, but Pairin would officiate.

“Tan Sri (Pairin) has been the Premier Advisor since he stepped down as party president, and we have consulted with him on many matters.

“So, there would be no issue of him opening the congress. I will read the president’s policy address,” said Joachim.

On working together with Star, Joachim, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said the party delegates would discuss it during the congress. “A merger with Star is still far off…I do not think so (it would happen). 

“But, working together with them, yes, that will be discussed at the congress.”

He also said a task force headed by Julita would be established after the congress to negotiate with Star.

“We aim to work together before the next State election and with the GRS (Gabungan Rakyat Sabah) team.

“For the next State election, we could also work with other parties,” he said.

Earlier, Julita said the congress would be attended by over 800 delegates from more than 60 divisions.

It would see discussions and input from party members on various issues, such as strengthening ties and political stability in the State.

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