This articles is from Borneo InsiderHis deputy Wilfred Tangau is taking on more of his boss’s responsibilities as the former federal minister takes a back seat on party matters.
KOTA KINABALU: All eyes are on Bernard Dompok, the United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (Upko) president, ever since he started delegating duties to the party’s second-in-command, Wilfred Tangau.
Will he step down as party president? Is he planning a career change? Is he disgusted with Barisan Nasional’s increasingly divisive brand of politics? What’s his next move?
Having lost in two general elections Dompok seems to be fighting a lonely battle to keep the party relevant and in the forefront of Sabahans demands for a more equitable federation.
It’s been a long hard struggle. First he lost his Moyog state seat in 1999 when he was Sabah Chief Minister and in last year’s general election, he was unseated by PKR’s Darrel Leiking from the Penampang parliamentary seat. He was then the Plantation Industries and Commodities Minister.
Another blow to his leadership was when his choice of Tuaran MP Wilfred Madius Tangau join the Federal Cabinet went unheeded. Instead Ranau MP Ewon Ebin was made Science, Technology and Innovation Minister.
In the party election last year, Tangau then secretary general defeated Ebin for the deputy president’s post.
With Dompok’s eminent retirement, the focus is now on Tangau and whether there will be a leadership tussle in the party.
Dompok has already shown that he favours Tangau and delegated his powers to the Tuaran MP when he sent him to attend the Barisan Nasional supreme council meeting in Kuala Lumpur on Friday.
Tangau was accompanied by secretary general Donald Mojuntin to the meeting chaired by the national coalition chairman and Prime Minister Najib Razak.
“Transition plan appears to be on the cards … he has to leave at some point because what else is there for him to do,“ said a party insider. Dompok also visited Ranau, his old parliamentary constituency.
Upko will be holding meeting later this month were Dompok is expected to delegate powers again to Tangau to take charge the party. Dompok is said to be travelling to Taiwan to attend to some personal matters.
Speculation is also rife that eventually the party leadership under Tangau will push for another federal cabinet post or even replace Ebin should the Prime Minister reshuffled his cabinet. – BI