Joniston Bangkuai (4th from left) with voters in Kampung Poring, Kiulu yesterday. (PBS pic)

KOTA KINABALU: PBS information chief Joniston Bangkuai has still not gotten over how former close ally Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau turned his back on Barisan Nasional (BN), although it happened more than two years ago.

He said Tangau not only ditched BN but also went back on the “misompuru” (which means unity in Kadazan) pact the latter had preached with him when they were on the campaign trail for the 14th general election (GE14) in May 2018.

Despite being hurt by the betrayal, Bangkuai said he still considers the Tuaran MP a friend.

“I don’t hate him. He is still my friend, but he left us,” he said during a meet the people session in Kampung Tudan-Poring, Kiulu yesterday.

“In the last general election, we had campaigned together under the Misompuru tag line.

“In fact, it was his (Tangau) suggestion that the three main Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) parties then under BN – Upko, PBS and PBRS – form an official pact as a united front to face the election.

“As a result, a presidential council comprising the three party presidents was set up and we won. Sadly, after the election, he left us to form an alliance with the Warisan-led government.”

Bangkuai is defending the rural Kiulu seat, which lies in the Tuaran parliamentary area, against Tangau and four other candidates in the Sabah polls that is taking place on Sept 26.

Professionally, Bangkuai said he has no qualms working with Tangau in the spirit of developing Kiulu.

“If the previous state government was willing to cooperate with the federal government despite being part of the federal opposition, why can’t we do the same for Kiulu,” he said.

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On another note, Bangkuai said PBS is not in BN anymore, hence the party is using its own symbol for the state elections.

“We call on the voters to hold steadfast to the meaning of integrity, principle and dignity. If they do that, I know they will make the right choice.”

Click here for the latest on the Sabah polls



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