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All eyes on Pairin and PBS


TAWAU: All eyes will be on Parti Bersatu Sabah’s (PBS) 30th annual delegates conference at Kian Kok School Hall in the state capital  this Saturday as the party’s longest serving president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan is poised to deliver a “very important” message to strengthen the
Sabah-based party.

With about two more years to go before the next general election, political pundits believe the 75-year old leader, the founder of PBS, is possibly mulling a new political strategy to make the party stronger ahead of the crucial general election.

According to them, one of the options is to inject new blood into the party leadership team, thus  attracting more youngsters to join the party.
Sabah social and political activist, Datuk Patrick Sindu opined that it was timely to rejuvenate the party to suit the needs of the present political

“As far as I can see the political landscape in the country has changed dramatically. But, anything can happen in politics…politics is a game of the
possible. So the upcoming PBS congress is very interesting to observe or monitor,” he told Bernama  today.

Patrick, a PBS youth secretary in 1985, predicted that Pairin, who is also Huguan Siou (paramount leader) for the Kadazandusun community in Sabah, might give “a hint of what course the party will take” at this congress.

PBS will hold its annual congress over three days, beginning on Friday. Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is scheduled to launch the congress proper the following day, Nov 14.

In Sept 2012, Pairin, whose leadership is still needed by the people  especially PBS leaders and members, was reported as saying that the upcoming
13th general election would be the last in which he would contest, citing exhaustion as the reason for him to want to arrive at such a decision.

However, Pairin, the current MP for Keningau and state assemblyman for Tambunan, who became active in politics in 1975, has yet to make an
official announcement.

Although PBS information chief Datuk Jahid Jahim had said recently that the congress would focus on pressing issues facing Sabah, especially the illegal immigrants and preparations for the general election, it is expected to be closely monitored by many in the state for a surprise announcement.

A staunch PBS suppporter from Rancangan Sungai Manila, Sandakan Kalui Gurin said: “Personally speaking, we still need Pairin’s leadership and experience”.

“Pairin has been consistent in highlighting the issue of illegal immigrants in Sabah in every party congress since PBS was formed 30 years ago,” he said hoping that Pairin would stay on as party president at least until the 14th  general election is over.

“In the event that Pairin relinquishes the number one post in the party, I think the incumbent deputy president (Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili) is the best candidate to take over the helm of the party,” he added.- BERNAMA

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