KOTA KINABALU: The family of the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, founder of the United Sabah National Organisation (USNO), should be grateful to the new leaders and members of the party for continuing with the struggle of the former Sabah statesman.
USNO chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said what the leaders and members of the party were doing now was to remind the Sabah people of Tun Datu Mustapha’s past struggle in fighting for their interests.
“We don’t want to humiliate...we do not condemn...(instead) we uphold (Tun Datu Mustapha’s struggle). His family should be grateful to USNO because we are reminding the Sabah people of their past struggles.
“Tun Mustapha’s family including (Datuk) Amir Kahar should join USNO,” he told reporters after launching the party’s manifesto here today.
Pandikar Amin said this when asked to comment on the statement of Tun Datu Mustapha’s son, Datuk Amir Kahar, that USNO’s new leadership contesting in the 16th Sabah state election should apologise for using his father’s name and legacy.
Amir Kahar, who is also contesting as an independent candidate in the Banggi seat, said his family disapproved of USNO’s action of using his father’s pictures to promote the party’s political interests.
To this, Pandikar Amin said photographs of Tun Datu Mustapha were in the public domain and also available in the archives.
USNO was established in 1961 by Tun Datu Mustapha, also known as the Father of Sabah Independence.
On another matter, Pandikar Amin said that USNO did not enter into any cooperation or alliance with Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) in this election.
The former Dewan Rakyat Speaker said this when asked if it was true that PKR had negotiated with USNO in its bid to split the votes for Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), allegedly in retaliation for being given only seven seats to contest in the election.
He said there was no cooperation because USNO fielded candidates in constituencies that were also contested by PKR, namely in Tempasuk, Karambunai and Darau.
USNO is fielding 47 candidates in this election, polling for which is on Sept 26. -Bernama