The acting PBS chief claims to be the deputy

KOTA KINABALU – The move to make Kiulu Assemblyman Datuk Joniston Bangkuai the acting deputy president of Parti Bersatu Sabah PBS is not possible because there is no vacancy in that position, as it was pointed out.

The acting PBS president Datuk Joachim Gunsalam stated that the deputy presidency remained with him. He added that he only acted as the party’s president because the incumbent Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, who was ill and had taken leave on June 1, took over the position.

“I’m only (acting) president until the next election.” “I am still the vice president,” he replied when asked about a previous announcement that Bangkuai would be the acting deputy president of the party from June 1.

Gunsalam stated that any changes can only be made during the next election.

On June 1, Ongkili transferred the duties of the presidency from him to Gunsalam who is also the state Local Government Minister and Deputy Chief Minister II.

Ongkili said that he would focus on his recovery and health. He also believed Gunsalam, as acting leader, could help the party renew itself.

PBS Secretary-General Datuk Julita Majungki announced plans in April that Ongkili will be on leave from June as President. Gunsalam, she said, would lead the party as Acting President while Bangkuai was given “additional responsibility” as acting deputy president.

Majungki said that the move was made to ensure continuity and to adapt to the leadership structure of the party, which served the interests and the members.

PBS is a part of the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition.

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