Posts Tagged 'Tenom UMNO election'

Rizalman Abdullah.. Is it a joke?

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in 2003

A blast from the past. I am of course referring to Datuk Rizalman Abdullah’s comical attempt to bulldoze a come back to Pensiangan after failing to retain his hold as Tenom UMNO chief recently. There is no doubt in my mind that he comes from Kg. Sinulihan Baru, Sook but lest we forget, it was he who abandoned Pensiangan about 18 years ago when he chose to helm the Tenom UMNO division and thereafter, became a one-term Member of Parliament for Tenom in the 1999 General Election.

Now that he had lost the Tenom UMNO Divisional chief post to YB Datuk Rubin Balang, in his final dash for a political survival, he suddenly remembers the 8000+ UMNO members in Pensiangan whom he had long abandoned. I don’t think any sane UMNO members would appreciate such act of treachery.

Folks, if one were to read and digest his press statement today as published in the New Sabah Times, he seems to forget that he is not making any political sense at all. While he is seen to be proposing the names of Datuk Ghani Yassin, the current Pensiangan UMNO chief and/or his deputy, Ahuar Rasam as being the most suitable UMNO candidate to stand as a BN candidate in Pensiangan, he, on the other hand, in the same breath, was also offering himself to stand in Pensiangan on behalf of any BN component party being nominated to stand or otherwise, in a veiled threat, he would stand as an Independent. So which is which? I thought he was being self-contradictory and making a joke of himself. Folks! you be the judge.

I sincerely think this particular politican has gone bonkers! Honestly speaking, he may have several pockets of grassroot support in Sook but definitely, not in Nabawan. Further, I was made to understand by a very prominent local politican in Keningau that when a large section of Sook was once part of the Tenom Parliamentary constituency, he made a lot of unfulfilled political promises in 1999 including the donation of a cow for every villages. When asked for after the election, he merely shrugged off his shoulder and uttered the words “itu politik bah” . Hence, in brief, I don’t think he is the so-called “saviour” for BN nor could he be a successful Independent. He is a politican past his prime. In his quest for a candidacy, he has, along the way, stepped on the feet of Datuk Ghani Yassin, Ahuar Rasam and several other UMNO leaders in Pensiangan. No doubt, he may have also hurt the feeling of fellow BN component parties by his action and tirade as published in the media for the past two days.

I honestly believe the Federal and State BN leadership would not even think or attempt to temper with the present quota that has stood the test of time. Any attempt to temper with the present arrangment would seriously jeopardise the existing harmony prevailing in BN. The dacing will otherwise, be seen as tilting towards destruction. Folks! Believe me.

But then again, all this diatribe will remain as one and one only, a diatribe, if and when the Federal Court ruled to set aside the Election Court’s decision in favour of the PBRS president, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup. Period.



Datuk Rubin Balang, the new Tenom UMNO Chief

Datuk Rubin Balang, the President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) in action with a traditional Murut Blowpipe

Datuk Rubin Balang, the President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) in action with a traditional Murut Blowpipe

” RUBIN WINS ” that was the New Sabah Times’ headline today. Yes. Would I be delighted of the news? who wouldn’t. He is my president, the current President of Persatuan Murut Sabah (PMS) of which I am currently the Treasurer-General. I have of course served as the Secretary-General of PMS when Datuk Rubin was first elected as the President way back in 2000.

Since then, we have gone back a long way in the rough and tumble of strenghtening PMS and getting it to be offically recognised by the state government as being the rightful platform for the Murut not only economically but I have to concede, the full recognition of the Murut culture, its beautiful traditions and of its people who would excel in producing eye catching original handicrafts. Under Datuk Rubin’s leadership, the evidence of PMS’ success is none other than the state-sponsored KALIMARAN Festival held annualy at the Pusat Kebudayaan Murut in Tenom.

Although he is currently the Kemabong Assemblyman, the Chairman of the Sabah Housing Development Board and a former Sabah Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, he is to me first, a president of our Murut association who, since his election, had done so much in bringing the association to where it is now. A place, aptly recognised by the state government. At the back of my mind, I thought, our association had also played a very important role in determining who the right BN candidate should be to contest in the Tenom Parliamentary seat in last general election? Any of you folks buying this? Unbelieveable? Believe it.

Honestly, I should say that although Datuk Rubin may not have the necessary paper qualifications, he is no doubt, a charismatic leader who had held the Kemabong state seat for four terms. When he was the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, he made it his mission to place the Murut warrior dance at the forefront of every cultural presentation culminating in, if my memory serves me right, a commendable win in a cultural dance competition in Spain?

That is why, I was very confident that where the majority of UMNO members are Muruts and if the Tenom UMNO Divisional election were to be conducted according to the true meaning of a democratic process, Datuk Rubin Balang would win the election this time around after failing to wrest it from Datuk Rizalman Abdullah in the last UMNO election. Well. He did it yesterday. He toppled Datuk Rizalman who had been the Chief for a record 17 years.

It was in fact, an open secret that there was bad blood between the two contenders. No stone unturned in the heat of the campaign. Each had his own pebble to throw at the other and vice versa. The heat became so unbearable that one of the contenders had to lodge a police report alleging someone from the other camp had purportedly hired a hitman to cause hurt to the complainant. I would not wish to dwell further on this as I believe the relevant authority are in the process of investigating the alleged incident.

But what a memorable farewell to the last UMNO divisional meeting in Malaysia!. Apart from the above, I was told later that the recount of votes went on for about 10 times last night. Imagine OMG. At one time, it was Datuk Rubin Balang who won by two votes but on count back, it was Datuk Rizalman winning by a mere one vote. Could anybody believe the tension filling the Chung Hwa school hall where the votes were counted? It was not only very stressful for the contenders but their supporters too. In the end, it was Datuk Rubin who triumphed. He won by a majority of 56 votes after ganering 189 votes to Rizalman’s 133 votes. I was told that the police and Rela had played a very important role in making sure that no untoward incident happened. A big thank you to them.

With this defeat, it is anybody’s guess about the political future of Datuk Rizalman. Would he be able to make a come back? Only time will tell.


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