Posts Tagged 'Tan Sri Joseph Kurup'

Long time coming… Better late than never !

It was indeed a very special day for the Keningau Catholic Diocese when the Rev. Bishop Cornelius Piong received two brand new Modenas motocycles from the Member of Parliament of P182 Pensiangan cum PBRS President and current Malaysian Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environment, YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup recently.

To the Catholic community in Mukim Seberang, the gifts would come in a long way to helping the Cathecists in preaching not only the Word of God amongst them but would also help them to render their services much more effectively.

In fact, Puan Sri Melinda Kurup was quite intrumental in effecting the delivery of the said gifts but due to some pressing procedural requirements that needed to be complied with, it was only recently that YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup was able to deliver them to the Catholic church in Keningau.  It may have been ” a long time coming but indeed the promise was fulfilled “.  Better late than never aye Folks!MTserah motosikal(clear pic)


5:3:2 Distribution of Sabah Cabinet seats…

What was once the top 4 state cabinet members of Sabah (courtesy of New Sabah Times)

What was once the top 4 state cabinet members of Sabah (courtesy of New Sabah Times)

What does it really mean for the non-muslim bumiputera in Sabah in so far as the long established convention of 5:3:2 distribution of cabinet seats between the Muslim bumiputera, non-muslim bumiputera and the chinese is concerned? Does it really matter?

Folks, it does not really matter if one had to listen to from none other than the PBS President cum the 1st Deputy Chief Minister and Minister of Infrastructure Development, Datuk Seri Panglima Joseph Pairin Kitingan who happens to be the Huguan Siou of the KadazanDusun in Sabah the majority of whom are non-muslim bumiputera. He was on record to say and I repeat it in verbatim ” the non-Muslim bumiputera quota in the State Cabinet can be changed at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

He said the matter had always been debatable but at the same time urged the people not to make it into a big issue. He said as much as he would like to have a more stable quota, the decision to have as many or as few non-Muslim bumiputeras in the State Cabinet remains at the discretion of the Chief Minister.

“Five, four, three or whatever the formula, has always been a debatable issue. I do not think we ought to be too stuck or too stiff about this kind of thing.

“We would like to have a stable quota but at the same time we must understand that this is the prerogative of the Chief Minister. It is up to him (Datuk Seri Musa Haji Aman) to make the necessary adjustment or make the necessary appointments…”

“He, or anybody who is the Chief Minister, will always have to take into account the aspirations or the expectations of all component political parties. Whatever decision he made is his prerogative. I am confident it was done in the best interest of the BN Government and to ensure all government programmes would run smoothly.”

I beg to differ though. Personally, I am not quite convinced that the majority of non-muslim bumiputera in Sabah are receptive to the idea that as long as the present BN government could fulfill its obligations and covenants to uplift the socio-economic status of the non-muslim bumiputera, the question of missed opportunity on effecting a fair distribution of cabinet seats in Sabah as highlighted by the PBRS Information Chief, Rayner Francis Udong recently could no longer be relevant.

For the record, the said 5:3:2 ratio was a formula practiced by convention when the BN took over the state government in 1994 whereby 5 is meant for 5 ministerial posts allocated to the muslim bumiputera, 3 posts to the non-muslim bumiputera while the last 2 posts are for the Chinese representatives in the State Legislative Assembly.

However, as I see it, at present, the Sabah cabinet seat distribution is made along the lines of BN component parties’ strength in the State Legislative Assembly. After the last state general election in 2008, UMNO won 32 seats, PBS won 12 seats, SAPP won 4 seats, LDP won 3 states, UPKO won 6 seats, MCA and PBRS won 1 seat each. Hence, Prior to the departure of SAPP from BN, the state cabinet was composed of 6 for UMNO, 2 for PBS, 1 each for UPKO, SAPP and LDP respectively.

The seat quota remains unchanged even after Datuk Raymond Tan, the sole SAPP representative in the cabinet chose to stick with BN when SAPP left BN last year where he was retained as a cabinet member while being a pro-BN Independent for almost 9 months.

Folks, now that Datuk Raymond Tan has joined Gerakan, a Peninsular Malaysia based multiracial party, the status quo remains unchanged. In fact, he was rewarded for his unquestionable loyalty to BN by being retained as a cabinet member minus his Deputy Chief Ministership though. However, the gist of the matter is that, the current composition of the state cabinet is all about one’s political strength in the state BN rather than racial and / or religiously based.

To me, the current arrangement is rather flawed despite BN undeniable success in bringing progress in terms of socio and infra-structural development to the state. I am saying this on the fact that a particular community could be under represented in the powerful decision making body despite it being the majority group in the state.

Analytically, it is a very simple arithmetic, take for example, PBS, the multiracial but KadazanDusun Murut based party. Logically, being a strongly KDM based party, there should be more than one KDM ministers representing the party apart from a chinese minister in the person of Datuk Yee Moh Chai to reflect its ideal political equilibrium in the state cabinet so that when seen in totality, there should be a sense of equitable fairness among the major races in the state.

Be as it may, what more could they ask for if such prerogative power is used to hypothetically appoint cabinet members along such lines as 6 for UMNO (Muslim Bumiputera), 2 for PBS (Non-Muslim Bumiputera), 1 for UPKO (Non-Muslim Bumiputera), 1 each for PBS (Chinese) and LDP (Chinese), Hence, the ratio should be 6:3:2 so that it is to be more or less reflective of the previously accepted convention.

As for Gerakan (a chinese-based multiracial party), it would be, in fairness to PBRS and MCA, politically prudent to appoint its 2 representatives as Assistant Ministers in the state cabinet.

However, it is of course, very important to remember that it is the CM’s sole prerogative to appoint his cabinet members whom he thinks are capable of helping him in the administratioin of the state and lest we forget that if the present cabinet is workable and is the best one we have ever had to assist the YAB Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Aman to achieving his well-documented Halatuju for the state, we should support him and his BN administration wholeheartedly regardless of our previous reservation.


Is it a fair deal for PBRS?

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (courtesy of the NSTP)

Tan Sri Joseph Kurup (courtesy of the NSTP)

Folks, I am going to say it point blank. The new Malaysian Cabinet does not reflect very nicely on PBRS. Why is it so?

Although I should be thankful for the reappointment of the PBRS President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup as a Deputy Minister by the new PM, Dato’ Seri Najib Tun Razak, I remain quite disappointed though, when he was moved from the Ministry of Rural and Regional Development which is considered to be as one of the most important Ministry in the country to the lowly regarded Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. At least, that is what the majority of Malaysians perceived it to be. A low ranking Ministry in the Federal Cabinet.

As such, I can’t help but consider this move as a demotion for the PBRS President. Am I alone having this perception? I don’t think so based on the various conversations I have had with some very influential politicans, businessmen and people on the streets.

And therefore, I can only deduce that PBRS had NOT indeed received a fair deal despite its well documented history of being part of the “catalyst” that led to the formation of a BN government in Sabah in 1994.

What’s your take on this, Folks?


Who is this guy in the blue shirt?

Guess who comes for lunch?

Guess who comes for lunch?

Folks! let me give you a hint. He is well-known for saying on TV “a meeting held under a tree will remain under a tree” So, guess who? Yes, he is none other than BN lead counsel, Datuk Hafarizam Harun who was instrumental in obtaining a court injunction to restrain Perak Speaker, V. Sivakumar from holding any unlawful meetings in Perak.

He happens to represent Tan Sri Kurup in his appeal at the Federal Court sitting at Kota Kinabalu on the 13th. March 2009.


Kurup keeps MP seat on Firday the 13th.

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

A victorious Tan Sri Kurup with his supporters after his appeal was allowed by the Federal Court yesterday

For some supertitious people, Friday the 13th is about a day of bad luck. According to folklorists, the belief that Friday the 13th is a particularly unlucky day is a modern amalgamation of two older superstitions: that thirteen is an unlucky number and that Friday is an unlucky day. But to PBRS President, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, Friday the 13th seems to be a lucky and glorious day. This is so when the Federal Court ruled that he was in fact, duly elected as the Member of Parliament of Pensiangan on nomination day, February, the 24th, 2008.

In the absence of Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff and Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria, the Federal Court Judge, Datuk Nik Hashim Nik Abdul Rahman delivered a unanimous decision to declare Tan Sri Kurup as duly elected. Inter alia he said “There had not been any failure on the part of the returning officer to comply with the election laws. Accordingly, we unanimously allow the appeal with costs here and the court below,”

Nik Hashim further held that the requirement that the nomination papers must be delivered between 9am and 10am was mandatory and that the returning officer was justified in upholding the objection and rejecting Andipai’s nomination papers for non compliance with regulation 6(2)(b) of the Elections (Conduct of Elections) Regulations 1981 which provides that the nomination papers in triplicate must be delivered to the returning officer between 9am and 10am on nomination day by the candidate and seconder or by any two or any one of them.

The Federal Court’s grounds of decision were further highlighted by the Daily Express in its 14th March 2009 publication as follows:-

Nik Hashim said that it was true, as the election judge decided, that the Election Commission had the power of control and supervision over the conduct of elections and that the returning officer was subjected to the direction of the Commission.

“Nevertheless, such power and direction must be exercised according to law,” he said. In this case, the commission’s deputy director’s directive to the returning officer to accept Andipai’s nomination papers outside the time frame was contrary to regulation 6(2)(b) of the Regulation.

“The Election Judge was erroneous when he held that the power of the Election Commission overrides the Regulations. Nothing in the law provides for such power,” he said.

Nik Hashim further said the court held that it was not within the purview of the Election Commission to effect any amendment to election regulation relating to the conduct of elections.

The court also held that while it was true there were 12 people who wanted to be candidates and only one counter opened at the nomination centre, nevertheless, the responsibility for submitting the nomination papers to the returning officer within the time fame lay with the candidates.

“No statutory duty is imposed on the returning officer to ensure that all nomination papers of all candidates present at the nomination centre must be accepted but only to ensure that no nomination papers are to be accepted during the time frame (9am-10am),” Nik Hashim held.

He said the court was also unanimous in holding that in this case the fault lay with Andipai for failing to deliver his nomination papers within the stipulated time to the returning officer.

The court also held that Andipai had pleaded the facts and grounds of his petition but without specifying which provision of written law relating to the conduct of election had not been complied with by the returning officer.

“This failure is fatal. Parties are bound by their pleadings. Since the mandatory requirements stipulated by section 32(b) of the Election Offences Act 1954 had not been met, the learned judge ought to have dismissed the respondent’s (Andipai) petition outright,” Nik Hashim said.

With this decision, Tan Sri Kurup who is also the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development said that the rule of law has prevailed and that he looked forward to concentrate on his work as the MP for Pensiangan and to help the people of Pensiangan out of their misery.

Well, folks, I said so in my previous post that the Federal Court would definitely allow his appeal. It has done just that. Now to all those who had dreamt of becoming the new MP for Pensiangan, barring any unforeseen circumstances, they may have to wait for another 4 years. Well, could it be earlier than that? No body has the crystal ball right now. I can only say that it is politics after all. In the meantime, let us allow Tan Sri Kurup to perform his duties peacefully and diligently as the duly elected MP in the interest of the people of Pensiangan.


The long wait continues….

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

A confident Tan Sri Kurup with his lead counsel, Firoz Hussien and PBRS supporters yesterday

To many, yesterday was just another day but to all PBRS members and political analysts alike, it was supposed to be the “Judgment Day” in the political life of one of Sabah’s much celeberated local politicans, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, the PBRS president, current MP for Pensiangan and the Federal Deputy Minister of Rural and Regional Development.

It never happened. Instead, the Federal Court comprising of the Appeal Court President Tan Sri Alauddin Mohd Sheriff sitting with the Chief Justice of Malaya Datuk Arifin Zakaria and Federal Court judge Datuk Nik Hashim Abd Rahman said from the bench after hearing submissions from Tan Sri Kurup’s senior counsel, Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi acting as an intevenor for the Attorney General and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah that their decision was reserved until the next date to be fixed.

However, the reserved decision didnot dampen the joyful spirit of many PBRS members who attended the appeal hearing before the Federal Court in Kota Kinabalu. They emerged out together with Tan Sri Kurup from the Court, smiling and waving to the public to show that everything was fine in the Appeal and that they expected the decision would be in Tan Sri Kurup’s favour.

I am not going to talk about what had transpired following the submissions made by Firoz Hussein Ahmad Jamaluddin, SFC Azizah Nawawi and the Respondent’s counsel, Haji Ansari Abdullah as to discuss it in detail would be tantamount to subjudice but suffice to say that it is more probable than not that Tan Sri Kurup will succeed in his appeal to reverse the Election Court decision that declared his election unopposed for the Pensiangan seat as null and void on the 8th September 2008.

In fact, a local lawyer, Justinus Baharum, confidently put the ratio of Tan Sri Kurup’s winning his appeal at 70-30. For others, the prediction was as high as between 90% to 95%. Yes. It was a very good day indeed for Tan Sri Kurup.


Overwhelming support !!

A large section of community leaders from P182 Pensiangan. A courtesy of Pensianganpress

A large section of community leaders from P182 Pensiangan. A courtesy picture from Pensianganpress

When I stepped into the banquet room at the lower ground of the Keningau Perkasa Hotel yesterday morning, there were only a few remaining chairs left at the front row of the room. The atmosphere was full of excitement though unruffled. I could sense that something very important was about to be unveiled by the PBRS president to some 250 community leaders from P182 Pensiangan comprising of the District Chief, Native Chiefs, Assistant Native Chiefs, Village Heads, JKKK Chairmen, PBRS Divisional Committee Members, Youth and Wanita Divisional Committee Members of N37 Sook and N38 Nabawan.

It was indeed a very important speech. The President took it into his stride in explaining the reasons why he had to go public in his defence of several unfounded allegations by the opposition parties and to some extent, a couple of individuals in BN itself.

He could not fathom the allegation of no infrastructure development in Sook during his tenure as an Assemblyman for what was then N41 Sook. To enlighten the community leaders, he took pain in bringing them down memory lane to 1985 when he won Sook for the first time as an assemblyman. Sook was then a very underdeveloped constituency. There was no sealed road from Keningau to Sook. There was no electricity. There was no clean water supply in most parts of Sook. There was no systematic government administrative office to cater for the need of the people. There was not even conducive primary schools nor was there a Government secondary schools and lastly, as a consolation, there were only makeshift tuckshops then in what is now called Pekan Sook or Sook Sub-District.

As compared to today, he showed to those present that there is now a sealed road from Keningau to Sook and Nabawan. There is electricity supply to most parts of Sook and that as he spoke, electrical posts were being delivered and erected in Kg. Lanas, Sook and that the BN Government has already approved the sealing of the exsisting Sook – Sinua gravel road and the Ansip – Dalit gravel road in the RM9. There are also many primary schools built in Sook as well as two Government Secondary Schools respectively in Pekan Sook and in Tulid and finally, he stressed that clean water supply in Sook will be a thing of the past once they are implemented in several areas of Sook in RM9 and RM10 respectively. He also pointed out that, Pekan Sook is now a subdistrict with an Assistant District Officer helming the administration of the area and that there are now two rows of concrete shophouses mostly operated by the natives of Sook.

With this unblemished record of development, he wondered why the people of Sook could easily be cheated and influenced by the opposition parties’ allegation about of no development in Sook in all the years he was their assemblyman and that as their current Member of Parliament, he could provide much more development not only in Sook but in Nabawan as well.

However, when he spoke about the current hot issue of a Murut candidate that need to be nominated to contest in Pensiangan, he talked at length about the sensitivity of the matter. To him, when he chose his protege, YB Datuk Ellron Angin, a Murut, to be the BN candidate of Sook in the last general election, he had not, at all material times, considered the race factor. Instead, it was his loyalty, diligence and commitment to the party that swayed in his favour.

After he ended his speech, there was an eruption of applause before he made an exit and thereafter, several calls for a resolution to nominate him as the Pensiangan BN candidate should there be a by-election.

True enough. When a resolution was called, there was an overwhelming and unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup to be nominated as the BN candidate should a by-election is held in Pensiangan.

Unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup as the BN Candidate. Courtesy of Pensianganpress

Unanimous support for Tan Sri Kurup as the BN Candidate. Courtesy of Pensianganpress

As a politician, I am especially inspired by the speech. To me, there are so much to be learnt from this particular man. One thing I truly learned from YB Datuk Ellron Angin’s political experience is that in politics one must be truly patience and posseses unquestionable loyalty to the Boss and the party.


Faith will move mountains



As the saying goes “Faith will move mountains”. Likewise, the people’s faith in the BN government in the interior of Sabah is of the same degree and is, I believe, immensely powerful. Nevermind the rhetoric, nevermind the promises, nevermind the political discourse, nevermind the polemic, the people in Pensiangan who are mostly far from the madding crowd, essentially, are BN supporters except during a period of about 12 years after PBS left the BN in 1990.


But their political realignment began to emerge from the doldrums when PBS rejoined the BN on the 23rd January 2002 wherein at that time the Pensiangan Parlimentary seat was held by PBS president, Datuk Joseph Pairin Kitingan. From thereon, the people of Pensiangan had returned the seat to BN in the 11th General Election in 2004 and again in the 12th General Election in 2008 where the PBRS president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup won unopposed whose win however, had since been declared null and void by the Election Court on the 8th September 2008.

With the opposition parties’ win from a back to back by-elections in Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu, one must be spared the embarrasment if he were to predict wrongly that Pensiangan would be another easy kill for the opposition parties should there be a by-election.

Whatever it is, faith is immensely powerful. The political scenario in both Permatang Pauh and Kuala Terengganu is very different from Pensiangan. Infrastructure development did not seem to be the top criterion for them. Hence, they could afford to ignore BN’s battle cry of more funds for development as opposed to the opposition parties’ smear campaign which among others were allegation of rampant corruption in high places and BN leaders especially the candidate were not people-friendly.

But the question is, would the people of Pensiangan be able to afford voting for the opposition in lieu of infrastructure development? Although, rumour has it that they may forego development in preference of a change in their parliamentary leadership. But, I don’t think so. Pensiangan is lacking so much in development that to vote for the opposition will only bring them down further below the poverty line as at the moment, the opposition is not capable to do so as they are neither the Federal or state Government nor are they very close to forming one. To hand in Pensiangan on a plate to the opposition will not make much of a difference to the overall governance of the country. Instead, the people themselves will have to suffer as a consequence because what they will receive in return from the opposition is merely lip service.

As I see it, the people must not be too excited in wanting change lest it will lead them to making hasty and irresponsible decision. A decision which they may have to regret for a very long time as once the die is cast, there is no turning back. As I have mentioned earlier in my previous post, when we are faced with a choice in a difficult or fearful situation there is an old cliche that decribes what we tend to do i.e. we choose “the devil we know” over “the devil we don’t know”. Yes we choose the comfort and security we have now and what other good things promised to us over the unknown future.

I have faith and I believe the people of Pensiangan have it too that come the Pensiangan by-election (if at all there is one) the people will support and vote BN-PBRS in a big way.


PBRS Convention 2009

PBRS Convention 2009

PBRS Convention 2009

The PBRS one day Convention 2009 was held at the NOVOTEL One Borneo in Kota Kinabalu yesterday. It was an in-house affair attended by the party’s supreme council members and its Wanita and Pemuda wings. Despite being such, it was to me, rather grand and majestic considering the ambience of the place.

The President, YB Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, in his opening speech had among others, stressed upon the need for the party to be stronger and resilient in the face of adversity in the very near future more so when PBRS is seen to be the smallest component party in BN resulting in people’s negative perception that it is therefore, deemed to be contributing less to the BN struggle.

He further justified the above by looking at the present trend that PBRS members are not receiving similar treatment as other bigger component parties in terms of securing jobs and political posts in the present government and that to avoid defeat in future elections, the BN government must change in its approach when it comes to dealing with the people such as the Laissez faire attitudes of its officers involved in land applications, unfair distribution of jobs, powers and promotions in government institutions, “barbaric” treatment of the people by a certain government department in the state, PATI and problems pertaining to the issuance of MyKad to illegal immigrants.

For a moment, it struck me that this was the real man himself that I came to admire since my university days. I have long thought that he must always be persistent enough to voice out his inner feelings to the public at large so that the people would be able to judge for themselves that Tan Sri Kurup was actually at all material times, their true champion. In fact, he may not have realised it, but when he spoke in public about incidences of probable corruption taking place in the Lands and Surveys Department in Sabah years back, there were lots public support from the KDMs, resulting in drastic measures taken by the said authority to address perennial problems of land application especially in matters relating to the natives.

Yesterday, he stressed upon the recent political development affecting the relevance and integrity of BN where it lost Permatang Puah and Kuala Terengganu in a back to back parliamentary by-elections and the jumping of ship by the Bota BN state assemblyman to PKR and as such he asked all attendees to participate seriously and contribute ideas in the party’s mission to rebrand. This is in line with the need for PBRS to change for the better together of course, with a change in the attitude of the members themselves for the party.

He gave life and further credence to JFK’s famous inauguration speech by saying ” JANGAN HARAP APA PARTI DAPAT BERIKAN KEPADA KITA TETAPI BERTANYA LAH APAKAH SUMBANGAN YANG DAPAT KITA BERIKAN KEPADA PARTI ” which among others, he highlighted the need for PBRS members to (1) improve their services to the people, (2) initiate robust membership drive and (3) voice out important issues affecting the interest of the people.

Yes Sir! we desperately need change but in our desire to change, we must not forget that we have to be competent enough to manage change and at the same time, we should have sufficient funds to absorb whatever costs that the process of change may incur in the very near future. If and when all these have been factored into the process, I am very confident that the much sought CHANGE will be knocking on PBRS’ door in no time at all.

On another note, it is very comforting to know that the newly re-appointed PBRS Secretary-General, Datuk Dr. Johnson Tee is such a computer-savvy guy that, according to him, the long-awaited PBRS own website would be online latest by next week.


P182 Pensiangan: On the record

The bare facts and figures of previous parlimentary elections in P182 Pensiangan

The bare facts and figures of previous parliamentary elections in P182 Pensiangan

Folks!, It is said that a picture tells a thousand words. So, just in case, any of you are interested to know about its recent elections history, I have taken the liberty to post a copy of the above for the whole world to see and analyse the bare facts and figures of previous parliamentary elections held in P182 Pensiangan, Sabah, Malaysia. (courtesy of Azlan Zamhari/Malaysiakini)


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