United Pasok Momogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) Youth has reprimanded Parti Warisan Sabah for continuing to use religion in its attacks on the party.

Upko Youth chief Arthur Sen told that Warisan treasurer-general Terrence Siambun was no different from Warisan president Shafie Apdal who had recently accused Upko of not helping the Christian community.

“Siambun’s statement shows he is an individual who will not hesitate to cheat and lie for political gain. His eagerness to get one over on Upko by using religious sentiments show Warisan is desperate for the people’s support,” he said.

Sen said the Upko supreme council, chaired by acting president Wilfred Madius Tangau, had already made clear Upko’s opposition to the bill to amend the Shariah Courts (Criminal Jurisdiction) Act 1965 (Act 355).

In fact, he said, the issue had been explained by Upko secretary-general Donald Peter Mojuntin to the media and Siambun had referred to an article on the matter when making his slanderous accusations.

“The cooperation between Umno and PAS in religious matters before this is a totally different issue, such as through the gathering in solidarity with the Rohingya community and a rally to oppose the US’ decision in moving its embassy to Jerusalem.

“Their cooperation in the two incidents was in the context of religious rights and limited to their relationship between parties on international policies.

“These have nothing to do with Upko or BN’s stance on Act 355,” he said, adding that Tangau did not elaborate on Act 355 at all but Siambun purposely blew the issue out of proportion for his own political gain.

He said for Siambun to do that during Christmas season clearly showed the Moyog assemblyman did not practise Christianity’s teachings which called upon the faithful to love one another.

Instead, Sen said Siambun chose to make wild interpretations of Tangau’s simple statement with the hope of firing up the Christians to hate Upko by saying that the party supported the amendments to Act 355.

“This is Siambun’s poisonous Christmas gift to the people. He had to resort to this tactic because his performance as the assemblyman in Moyog these past five years was terrible. What has he done for the people in his constituency other than spreading political propaganda?

“The only significant thing that he ever did was to jump from PKR to Warisan,” he said.

On the other hand, Sen said Mojuntin, who is also Penampang Upko chief, and the party’s members in the district had consistently been helping the people.

He challenged Siambun to go to any village in Moyog to find out if this was true.

“If he denies this, then clearly he is a naive assemblyman,” he said.

Sen also reminded Siambun of his remark during the last election when, as a PKR candidate, the latter had asked the people to give the opposition party five years to perform and if it failed, the people were free to vote them out in the 14th general election.

“Now, he has been given the chance but it is obvious he has failed to deliver his promises and instead, decided to leave PKR. So, I think it is time for the people to (have a) change,” he said.-FMT

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