APS to back pro-Pakatan candidates

Wilfred Bumburing

(FMT) — Contrary to expectations, the loose Sabah opposition platform, Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS) will not promote any particular candidate in the coming general election.

Throwing its opponents and detractors off guard, the pro-Pakatan Rakyat political platform headed by Tuaran MP Wilfred Bumburing will instead focus its strength on uniting Sabahans behind opposition candidates challenging the Barisan Nasional’s hold on power.

The group sees it as its best chance to be able to effectively bring about a change of government in the 13th general election.

“We in APS are committed to support any candidates that will be fielded by any of political parties in PR (Pakatan) in the coming election,” Bumburing told a gathering on Sunday that he used to celebrate his 61st birthday.

The former deputy president of United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) urged APS members, supporters and sympathisers to reaffirm their commitment towards achieving their goal which was changing the government.

“APS’ commitment is to align ourselves with the political parties that make up Pakatan Rakyat as well as work alongside other non-governmental organisations that are also aligned with the other organisations in Pakatan,” he said.

Bumburing said the grouping had formed a pro-tem supreme council and each of its members had been allocated specific duties to streamline and coordinate its activities.

The supreme council is made up of a mix of well-known politicians and Sabah activists.

Former Tuaran MP Kalakau Untol, a former federal deputy minister, is chief organising secretary while deputy president is former Upko vice-president ex-senator Maijol Mahap.

The vice-presidents are businessman Dr Richard Gunting, ex-assemblyman Laimun Laikim and retired senior government officer Hernman Tionsoh.

Native rights

Youth leader is Denis Gimpah of Tamparuli while Pertus Francis Guriting of Tambunan is the secretary-general.

Guriting is being assisted by Benson Inggam of Kuamut. Brendan Mojilip is treasurer-general assisted by James Miki of Beluran.

Lesaya Lopog Serudim from Kiulu is information chief while assistant is Patrick Sadom of Sipitang. Retired senior government servant Alex Kando from Inanam is APS liaison chief. The post of women’s wing chief is still vacant.

Bumburing also announced the appointment of 13 other supreme council members. They are former senator and ex-Kuala Penyu assemblyman John Ghani, ex-Tuaran MP Monggoh Orow, Mail Balinu, Itoh Manggonb, Biou Suyan, Ismail Banaran,Stephen Michael, Liberty Lopog, Maruddin Suabon, Paul Kadau, Edwin Ambu, Maurice Awit and herman Mianus.

Touching on his 61st birthday, he said since it was a special day for him he wished to renew his pledge after resigning from the government ruling party on July 29 “to champion the welfare of the people of Sabah, especially the native.”

The former deputy chief minister said APS would fight for the rights of the natives in land ownership under the native customary right (NCR).

He said it was sad to note that the native of Sabah had been deprived of ownership of land on which they had been toiling for generations.