PBS deputy president Maximus Ongkili has told party members that this will be his last term if nominated to defend his Kota Marudu parliamentary seat.
Joseph Bingkasan, FMT
KOTA KINABALU: Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Maximus Ongkili is of the opinion that the Kota Marudu parliamentary seat as well as the Tandek and Matunggong state seats will remain the ruling coalition’s strongholds after the 13th general election.
But people in these constituencies appear to be showing signs to the contrary.
According to a PKR leader in Kota Marudu, villagers in this northern region of Sabah are protesting silently against Barisan Nasional (BN).
They are not engaged in any street protests and they are not demonstration or voicing openly their displeasure to the state and federal government.
“(But) they fly the BN flag upside down,” said Anthony Mandiau.
Mandiau and several party leaders were in the Kampung Minikodong longhouse in Kota Marudu earlier this week to distribute assistance to fire victims when they were greeted with the sight of the `Dacing’ (Barisan Nasional’s symbol) being deliberately flown upside down.
He said the people who were BN supporters told him that putting up the flag the wrong way was a ‘more powerful’ message to the government than organising street demonstrations or `bad mouthing’ government leaders.
“Ongkili says the three seats are safe with Barisan Nasional but the people’s support are already moving towards the opposition.
“They are showing this by putting up the BN flag upside down,” Mandiau told FMT recently.
Ongkili, who is the MP for Kota Marudu as well as federal Science, Technology and Innovation Minister, had told PBS members in Tandek over the weekend that the ruling coalition would have no problem in retaining Kota Marudu and the two state seats – Tandek and Motunggung – in the 13th general election.
He also announced that should he be chosen to defend and win his seat, it will be his last term and that he would make way for a younger and more capable local leader to take over.
Ongkili however added that he will continue to serve the people in other capacities such as a mentor and advisor.
Increasing support for PKR
Meanwhile, Mandiau said Kota Marudu PKR is ready to face the election with support from the people gaining momentum every day. Since the 2008 general election, the party had been preparing for election.
“Gatherings organised in villages are well attended by the people, not only party supporters but also Barisan Nasional component party members,” he said.
Mandiau is no newcomer to Kota Marudu. He is a local boy.