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All-round support for Ewon to contest in Penampang

19 October 2022

The 15th general election (GE15) seems to be heating up even though the Election Commission (EC) has not officially announced the election date.

Not only has the election date not been announced, political parties have also yet to disclose their candidates.

However, several names - including United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO) incoming president Datuk Ewon Benedick's - have been brought up as candidates for the Penampang Parliamentary seat.

Although this remains a puzzle, many people have expressed support towards the Kadamaian assemblyman.

Sabah DAP member Adrian Lasimbang was quoted as saying that Ewon is a very capable young leader and that nothing's wrong to offer his service to his hometown.

"His father, the late Benedick Yong, is from Penampang Proper. Ewon grew up in Penampang...his roots are in Penampang. He also attended SM St. Michael Penampang. So why not?"

Meanwhile, another Penampang resident Bob Munang said that, if the report that Ewon is contesting in the Penampang parliamentary seat is true, it should be welcomed.

"This is not about whether we love or hate our political leaders.

"Even though I don't know Ewon personally, I have observed how he rose up in the UPKO ranks when I was in PBS. Back then UPKO was in BN but I noticed how the then President Tan Sri Bernard Dompok groomed and gave every opportunity for UPKO younger leaders to play important roles by getting them appointed to hold positions. I saw in UPKO what I did not see in many political parties.

"I remembered Ewon as having been appointed as Political Secretary to the Minister of Agriculture and Fisheries when he was just in his 20s. I knew there and then that he was being groomed and I continued to observe him.

"So it was not surprising to me when he was appointed a full Minister during the Warisan/ Pakatan Harapan (PH)/ UPKO era after winning the Kadamaian seat in the GE14. He is also expected to lead UPKO as its President replacing Datuk Seri Panglima Madius Tangau and I am sure he has the capabilities and experience to lead UPKO," he said.

Bob stressed that GE15 is a very important General Election albeit a tough one for Malaysia because the hopes and aspirations of Malaysians in voting for change in the GE14 were shattered when the PH government collapsed after less than two years in power.

This was brought about because former Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir and the top leaders in PPBM (then part of the PH) did not want Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim to assume the Prime Minister's post, he said.

"I am not a member of any political party since I left Sabah in 2012 to pursue further studies and work briefly overseas. However, I continue to keep myself informed of the political events in Malaysia through social media. What I expressed in the various Whatsapp groups that I administer are my own opinions guided by my association with PBS for almost 30 years.

"Sometimes it is hard for me to comment on the politics in Malaysia because I have friends from all political divides but at some point, I have to say something. So with regards to this GE15, I believe the main players are Barisan Nasional (BN), PH and Perikatan Nasional (PN). Like it or not, Sabah will have to work and support with any of the three main political coalitions above.

"We have seen how BN ruled Malaysia and treated Sabah in the almost 60 years and we have also experienced albeit briefly the PH and PN rule. Personally, I would like to see the PH with Anwar as PM to be given another opportunity to govern Malaysia for the next 5 years.

"I support local parties to be part of the Federal Government. Hence, I support UPKO's membership in the PH just as I support PBS, STAR and SAPP's membership in PN and PBRS's membership in BN. We should not look at the membership of these local parties in a negative manner because the political situation in Sabah is unlike that of Sarawak," he added.

He said in Sarawak, the GPS which comprises of all Sarawak-based parties have in reality been in power since the 1980s. In Sabah, there is still UMNO and its splinter party PPBM which together dominates the political make up in Sabah.


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