PUTRAJAYA: May 17, 2008 By MAZWIN NIK ANIS
Another president of a Sabah Barisan Nasional component party has sounded the alarm bell that the possibility of crossovers is very real.
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president Tan Sri Bernard Dompok said the frustrations of Sabahans and their representatives in getting the Federal Government to solve their long list of problems are “extremely real” and talk about MPs crossing over to join the Opposition is symptomatic of this frustration.
He said the longstanding issues affecting Sabahans could no longer be “swept under the carpet” and MPs were under a lot of pressure to resolve the people’s problems.
Any decision for Upko to leave the Barisan fold will be made by the party and not by him, Dompok stressed to the press Friday.
He said that while Upko’s three other MPs had not raised the subject of leaving the party “at the moment,” he admitted: “Their frustrations are real. I think no one can deny it”.
When asked if any of the Upko MPs, including himself, had been approached by the Opposition leaders, Dompok replied: “Not yet as far as I know.
“But if these people (from the Pakatan Rakyat) want to talk to me in Parliament, there is no reason why I should not talk to them. We are all MPs anyway.”
He said there were still many issues, among them immigrants and basic infrastructure, waiting to be resolved in Sabah.
“The people of Sabah have been taken for granted because we are a laidback, easy-going people. The state is thousands of miles away from the nation’s capital. As they say, out of sight, out of mind,” he said.
Dompok said constituents in Sabah have always been vocal but failed to grab the media’s attention until “recent changes in the political environment”.
To a question, he said that the majority of the grassroots wanted action and they would not mind if their MPs crossed over to the Opposition, as long as their problems were ironed out and their demands were met.
“There are people who condemn crossovers, saying that it is immoral and such. But who are they and why are they taking the moral high ground, when in their previous lives, they too, have done it.
“But if you ask me, I don’t think the Opposition will make the numbers,” he said.
Asked if Barisan should be worried that crossovers would eventually become a reality, Dompok said that the Government must be confident of doing the right thing.
“If you are confident, no one is going to desert you,” he said.