Pairin not stepping down yet
PBS President says not time to make move
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) President Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan has urged Party members not to dwell too much on the issue of him stepping down as it is not the time for him to make that move yet. Though hurt by the call from PBS Kiulu Divisional Chief Sindin Ranggangon for bim to step down as Party President, Pairin said he had done his best and would continue with the Party’s struggles. “I thank all of you for your support for me to continue leading the Party and I want to tell PBS members not to crack their heads over when I will step down. “It will happen as this is not something difficult and it will take place in the future,” Pairin who is also a Deputy Chief Minister and the Rural Development Minister said. He said this when officiating the PBS Tanjung Aru and Petagas Divisions’ joint annual general meeting held at Airport View Hotel here yesterday. Later when met by reporters, Pairin who was asked to comment Sindin’s call, said that the reason for the latter’s action was to air out his frustration because he was not selected as a candidate in the recent election. According to Pairin, Sindin had lobbied and told him of his desire to be a candidate but was not selected because of his poor track record when it comes to serving his Division and members. “He has never worked (for the Division) and according to the statement from the Division, (Sindin) has not even gone round to service the branches, so what kind of leadership is that? “You just want everything to be put on the plate and be delivered to you but you are not showing any commitment towards the Party’s struggles as well as towards looking after your Division like getting people together and getting more members. “This is something that I am not surprised if coming from a member of the opposition but reflecting on it, I’m not so surprised either because he is just showing his frustration,” Pairin said. The Tambunan Assemblyman when asked if there are other dissenting voices among PBS members, replied that as far as he is concerned, it was an isolated case. Pairin said that he had been doing the best he could as a leader and despite that he does not expect everybody to be 100 percent behind him and giving full credit to what he has been doing all this while. Normally from experience, he said those disappointed for not being selected as candidates or not getting a position, would react. “We have had experience on how people break out from the party. “This is something which has been expressed, so okay, as far as I am concerned, you want to complain okay but there are processes in democracy and the constitution to go through,” he said. Pairin who has led PBS for 23 years, pointed out, “I am not the one who put me there. It is the delegates who put anybody there, in any position except for those I appoint according to the constitution but we do so by authority. “As far as my position is concerned, it is not for me to say because I’m not the one who gave that responsibility to me. Once the responsibility is given to me of course I have to do my part to give the best I can. “In any election, the divisional election, the coming 2009 Party election, all positions are opened for contest that is according to the constitution. So it’s just a question of whether he or she will accept nomination or otherwise,” he said. He added, “Of course you cannot say that I have not been hurt as a human being but knowing the background and his (Sindin) personality, I have not said anything because to me, let other people have their say. “I cannot be saying that I am the best, I have done nothing wrong or I’ve got no weaknesses this kini of thing,” he said. On the recommendation by PBS Secretary General Datuk Raden Malleh for Sindin to be referred for disciplinary action, Pairin said that once: there were leaders who had made the recommendation, it was up to the disciplinary committee to pursue the case. Last week, Sindin called for Pairin to step down as it is time for someone with more energy, calibre and charisma to lead the Party. Sindin also said that the most appropriate person is PBS Deputy President Datuk Dr Maximus Ongkili and pointed out that the leadership transition was very important because the performance of the Party under Pairin had been on a down slide which is evident from the reduced number of votes and defeat of two PBS candidates in the previous election. The Kiulu Divisional Chief claimed that Pairin’s leadership is no longer relevant and alleged that the Deputy Chief- Minister cum Rural Development Minister had failed to take into consideration the people’s sensitivity as well as practised favouritism. Sindin also claimed that the call for Pairin to step down was the general consensus among the Kiulu Division committee as well as Party members during a recent meeting which was later refuted by the Division. Radin in refuting Sindin’s claims of Pairin’s diminishing popularity said, “Pairin still enjoys full support of the Party members and grassroots”. He added that there was no hurry for a leadership handover and said, “Dr Max and the others can wait for their time.” He also wanted Sindin to be referred to the disciplinary committee for breaching Party rules and procedures. Radin was of opinion that it was unbecoming and uncalled for a divisional chief to comment on leadership succession in the Party and it was not for Sindin to decide on leadership matters as that is the prerogative of the Party President and the Supreme Council to decide.