United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation

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"UPKO" redirects here. For the Sabahan political party of the 1960s, see United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Organisation.
United Pasokmomogun KadazandusunMurut Organisation
Pertubuhan Pasokmomogun KadazandusunMurut Bersatu
Leader Madius Tangau (acting)
Founded May 1964 (re-formed in 1994)
Headquarters Penampang, Sabah
National affiliation Barisan Nasional
Website
www.upko.org.my
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The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) is a political party based in Sabah, east Malaysia. It is an ethnically-based party striving to voice the rights and advance the development of Kadazan-Dusun and Murut population of Sabah and the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia.

History[edit]

The party started as "Parti Demokrat Sabah" (PDS), which was founded by Bernard Dompok and other leaders who split from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) soon after the Sabah state election, 1994 to join the Barisan Nasional coalition. PBS had won a majority in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, but the defections allowed Barisan Nasional to form government.[1] Part of the enticement offered by Barisan Nasional to the defectors was the promise of a rotating chief ministry, which Dompok held from 1998 to 1999.[2] The defection from PBS damaged the new party at the 1995 federal election, in which it won no seats.

The party was renamed as UPKO in 1999, taking the same acronym as the United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Organisation, which was formed and dissolved in the 1960s.[3] The party won three federal seats at the 1999 election, and four at the 2004 and 2008 polls.

In 2009, the party opened four divisions in Perak, Peninsular Malaysia, seeking a foothold among local Orang Asli indigenous people.[4]

In the Malaysian general election, 2013, the party was reduced from four to three federal seats and from six to four state assembly seats. Dompok lost his federal seat to the People's Justice Party. The following year he resigned as the party's president, a position he had held for 20 years.[5]

Status and platform[edit]

UPKO is one of the component parties in the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition. The name of the new UPKO includes the words "Kadazandusun" and "Murut", and the logo is no longer a water buffalo but a silhouette of Mount Kinabalu.

The party's core Sabahan indigenous constituency includes many Christians, while the Barisan Nasional coalition is, on a national scale, dominated by the United Malays National Organisation, an overtly Muslim-Malay party. While a member of the Barisan Nasional federal government, UPKO often speaks out about government policies affecting Christians. In 2013, the party's president Bernard Dompok distanced himself from Prime Minister Najib Razak on the contentious question of the use by Malaysian Christians of the word "Allah" to describe God. Najib had supported a government appeal to the High Court seeking to outlaw the word's use by a Christian newspaper; Dompok criticised the appeal and defended the right of Christians, especially indigenous Malaysians, to use the word.[6]

UPKO also agitates, often against the national government of which it is a part, for tougher measures against illegal immigration in Sabah. In February 2012, UPKO succeeded in forcing the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry into illegal immigration. In the same year one of the party's federal parliamentarians, Wilfred Bumburing, quit UPKO and joined the opposition People's Justice Party in protest at what he considered to be government inaction on illegal immigration.[7]

UPKO was an advocate for the repeal of the Internal Security Act, which for over 50 years permitted detention without charge in certain circumstances. The law was repealed in 2011.[8]

Current elected representatives[edit]

UPKO currently holds three seats in the federal House of Representatives and four in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly:

Ewon Ebin is the federal Minister for Science, Technology and Innovation. Siringan Gubat is the Sabah state Minister for Resource Development and Information Technology.

External links[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "PBS, UPKO, PBRS urged to regroup or merge under one political party". Borneo Post. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  2. ^ Lim, Regina (2008). Federal-state Relations in Sabah, Malaysia: The Berjaya Administration, 1976-85. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 129. 
  3. ^ Lai, Nancy (18 September 2014). "Upko pledges to help achieve ‘ideal Malaysia’". Borneo Post. Retrieved 4 November 2014. 
  4. ^ [1]
  5. ^ Inus, Kristy; Ismail, Laili (6 March 2014). "Dompok resigns as Upko president". New Straits Times. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  6. ^ Boo Su-Lyn (27 April 2013). "Christians to continue using ‘Allah’ despite government appeal, says Dompok". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  7. ^ Chooi, Clara (9 August 2012). "Dr M ‘insensitive’ for defending Sabah illegals, says UPKO". The Malaysian Insider. Retrieved 6 November 2014. 
  8. ^ dailyexpress.com.my/news, Upko also wants ISA reviewed