Friday, February 29, 2008


Pairin is still relevant with his contributions: BN leader


A Barisan Nasional (BN) leader here says Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan is still relevant and needed in the state’s political arena. Tambunan BN deputy chairman Cyril Yansalang said, Pairin, the ‘huguan siou’ or paramount leader of the Kadazandusun community, had contributed a lot to the state and to the people in Keningau parliamentary constituency and Tambunan state seat. As such, he said, it was not proper for Pairin’s younger brother, Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan, to call for his exit from active politics. Describing the statement by Jeffrey as a mere political gimmick, Cyril said Pairin was still needed in Sabah, especially in contributing to the success of the Sabah Development Corridor. Pairin is up against Jeffrey who is Parti Keadilan Rakyat vice-president and DAP’s Peter Kodou in Keningau; and PKR’s Moses @ Mozes Michael Iking and an Independent candidate Francis Koh Lui Tze in Tambunan, in the March 8 general election. “I think there are still many people, especially among the younger generation, who are not aware of Pairin’s contribution to the state all these while. “In the early 80’s, Pairin was sidelined because he fought for the people, including the preservation of the Kadazandusun culture to celebrate the Tadau Kaamatan (harvest festival) at the state level. “Tambunan’s status as a district had also been withdrawn once but with Pairin’s perseverance, and the people’s support, Tambunan got back the status,” he told Bernama yesterday. He urged the voters in Tambunan and Keningau to give Pairin their strong support come polling day on March 8. “Come out and give Pairin a huge majority as a sign of appreciation for his contribution,” he said. Cyril said although age might be catching up on Pairin but he was still strong and healthy. “He can still discharge his duties effectively. Let Pairin decide on his political future after winning this election,” he said. He also said it was not true that Pairin failed to bring development to Tambunan. “Look around. The Tambunan Keningau road used to be a pothole-ridden road but not anymore. We have a new sports complex in Tambunan, a new hospital in Keningau as well as new school buildings...,” he said. -Bernama