KDM parties in BN have lost their vision

Kadazan Dusun Murut

Which native party within Barisan Nasional will dare to leave and re-invent itself to meet the challenges of a visionary KDM community?

(FMT) - While most of us still believe that the biggest political party of the Kadazandusun and Muruts (KDM) is Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), it is also now a fact that PBS has lost its vision.

With party supremo, Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is the community’s Huguan Siou (paramount leader), on the verge of retirement, it is also facing a leadership transition crisis.

And as rightly pointed out in a FMT article by Arnold Puyok, PBS has “overlooked the grooming of its youths” to be future leaders.

Puyok wrote: “That the youths have deserted PBS was pretty much obvious at the party’s 26th AGM in October. Those who attended the AGM were in their 40s, 50s and 60s, confirming rumours that PBS is having a serious problem in keeping its younger members.”

Puyok also pointed out that “Upko appears to have been more successful in enticing the young generation through its programmes such as the ‘Komulakan.’ And unlike the PBS, Upko has young cadre of leaders to take over the party”.

PBS, along with certain other parties, must re-define and spell out its new vision if the old vision is obsolete.

Many PBS members and mid-rank leaders are asking Pairin, “Tan Sri, what will be our issues for the next general election?” and there is no answer.

There is a widespread view that certain KDM Barisan Nasional leaders are there simply to ride the BN wave and seek to sustain their personal positions and pecuniary gains for as long as the wave lasts.

This is not necessarily true, of course, but the perception is real and widespread.

Development, not a catchword

The parties concerned also need to clarify their political objectives in terms of what the KDMs passionately desires for its future.

Let it be restated that the current “development for the people” rationale no longer sells.

The KDMs must not be underestimated. They will no longer swallow the promises of development because “development” (pembangunan) is a word that has become stale and passé

“Development or Pembangunan” is no longer a political catchword.

What the KDMs want today is something deeper.

They want the original 1950s’ vision of a new world, a bright future in which they would be the kingmakers of their political life, the architects of their destiny.

They are people whom French artist Henri Matisse alluded to as wanting “to recapture that freshness of vision which is characteristic of extreme youth when all the world is new to it”.

They want a new formula, a new and exciting futuristic structure for the empire of their minds.

They want to be motivated and energised at the realisation of seeing a way out of their dire situation.

Author James Allen imagined this excitement with a shining vision when he wrote, “Dream lofty dreams, and as you dream, so you shall become. Your vision is the promise of what you shall one day be; your ideal is the prophecy of what you shall at last unveil.”