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United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation

The United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation (UPKO) or Malay: Pertubuhan Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Bersatu is a political party based in Sabah, Malaysia. It is an ethnically-based party striving to voice the rights and advance the development of Kadazan-Dusun and Murut population of Sabah and the Orang Asli of Peninsular Malaysia.[1]

United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation

Pertubuhan Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Bersatu
Pisompuruan Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut
PresidentMadius Tangau
ChairpersonMichael Sitom Malanjun
Secretary-GeneralNelson Angang
SpokespersonLaurentius Nayan Ambu
Deputy PresidentDonald Peter Mojuntin
Vice-PresidentEwon Benedick
Abidin Madingkir
Lucas Umbul
James Ratib
Gilbert Syam
Pangiran Lalung
Limus Jury
Women ChiefJuliana Jani
Youth ChiefFelix J. Saang
Treasurer GeneralMarcus Mojigoh
FounderBernard Giluk Dompok
FoundedMay 1964 (re-formed in 1994)
Split fromUnited Sabah Party (opposition)
Preceded bySabah Democratic Party (PDS)
HeadquartersLot 9 & 10, Tingkat 2 & 3, New World Commercial Centre, Pekan Donggongon, Peti Surat 420, 89507 Penampang, Sabah
Kadazan-Dusun interests
Political positionRight-wing
National affiliationBarisan Nasional (1994–2018)
Pakatan Harapan
(Allied parties) (2018-)
Colours     Blue, white and purple
SloganMisompuru Tokou Wagu
Mari Kita Bersatu Kembali
(Let Us Be United Again)
Dewan Negara:
1 / 70
Dewan Rakyat:
1 / 222
Sabah State Legislative Assembly:
5 / 64
Election symbol
United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation Logo.svg



The party started as "Parti Demokrat Sabah" (PDS), which was founded by Bernard Dompok and other leaders who split from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) soon after the Sabah state election, 1994 to join the Barisan Nasional coalition. PBS had won a majority in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, but the defections allowed Barisan Nasional to form government.[2] Part of the enticement offered by Barisan Nasional to the defectors was the promise of a rotating chief ministry, which Dompok held from 1998 to 1999.[3] The defection from PBS damaged the new party at the 1995 federal election, in which it won no seats.

The party was renamed as UPKO in 1999, taking the same acronym of the United Pasokmomogun Kadazan Organisation, which was formed and dissolved in the 1960s.[4][5] The party won three federal seats at the 1999 election, and four at the 2004 and 2008 polls.

In 2009, the party opened four divisions in Perak, Peninsular Malaysia, seeking a foothold among local Orang Asli indigenous people.[1]

In the Malaysian general election, 2013, the party was reduced from four to three federal seats and from six to four state assembly seats. Dompok lost his federal seat to the People's Justice Party. The following year he resigned as the party's president, a position he had held for 20 years.[6][7]

In the Malaysian general election, 2018, the party won only one federal seat and five state assembly seats. Following this, the party’s acting president Madius Tangau announced that five of their party state assembly seats members had left Barisan Nasional to form a coalition government with the WARISAN, alongside PKR and DAP.[8][9]

Status and platformEdit

UPKO was one of the component parties in Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition which ruled Malaysia until 2018. The name of the new UPKO includes the words "Kadazandusun" and "Murut", and the logo is no longer a water buffalo but a silhouette of Mount Kinabalu but it has since left the coalition due to losses of seats in the 2018 election and became a partner party for the Pakatan Harapan coalition instead ever since then.

The party's core Sabahan indigenous constituency includes many Christians, while the Barisan Nasional coalition is, on a national scale, dominated by the United Malays National Organisation, an overtly Muslim-Malay party. While a member of the Barisan Nasional federal government, UPKO often spoke out about government policies affecting Christians. In 2013, the party's president Bernard Dompok distanced himself from Prime Minister Najib Razak on the contentious question of the use by Malaysian Christians of the word "Allah" to describe God. Najib had supported a government appeal to the High Court seeking to outlaw the word's use by a Christian newspaper; Dompok criticised the appeal and defended the right of Christians, especially indigenous Malaysians, to use the word.[10]

UPKO also agitated, often against the national government of which it was a part, for tougher measures against illegal immigration in Sabah. In February 2012, UPKO succeeded in forcing the establishment of a royal commission of inquiry into illegal immigration. In the same year one of the party's federal parliamentarians, Wilfred Bumburing, quit UPKO and joined the opposition People's Justice Party (PKR) in protest at what he considered to be government inaction on illegal immigration.[11]

UPKO was an advocate for the repeal of the Internal Security Act (ISA), which for over 50 years permitted detention without charge in certain circumstances. The law was repealed in 2011.[12]

Leadership StructureEdit

Elected representativesEdit

Party president, Wilfred Madius Tangau is the state Deputy Chief Minister cum cabinet Minister of Trade and Insutry while his deputy, Donald Peter Mojuntin is the son of a prominent politician, Peter Mojuntin, UPKO currently holds one seat in the federal House of Representatives, one in the Senate and six in the Sabah State Legislative Assembly.

Dewan Negara (Senate)Edit


Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)Edit

Members of Parliament of the 14th Malaysian ParliamentEdit

UPKO currently only one MP's in the House of Representatives.

State No. Parliament Constituency Member Party
  Sabah P170 Tuaran Wilfred Madius Tangau UPKO
Total Sabah (1)

Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Legislative Assembly)Edit

Sabah State Legislative Assembly

5 / 64

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "Sabah-based Upko targets Orang Asli". New Straits Times. 12 July 2009. Archived from the original on 13 July 2009. Retrieved 24 July 2009.
  2. ^ "PBS, UPKO, PBRS urged to regroup or merge under one political party". Bernama. The Borneo Post. 19 February 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  3. ^ Regina Lim (2008). Federal-state Relations in Sabah, Malaysia: The Berjaya Administration, 1976-85. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies. p. 129.
  4. ^ "United Pasokmomogun Kadazandusun Murut Organisation". Singapore Elections. Archived from the original on 31 May 2016. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  5. ^ Nancy Lai (18 September 2014). "Upko pledges to help achieve 'ideal Malaysia'". The Borneo Post. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
  6. ^ "Bernard Dompok quits as Upko president". The Malaysian Times. 5 March 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  7. ^ Kristy Inus; Laili Ismail (6 March 2014). "Dompok resigns as Upko president". New Straits Times. Archived from the original on 6 March 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  8. ^ Sadho Ram (12 May 2018). "Sabah Musical Chairs To End With Shafie Swearing In As Chief Minister Tonight". Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  9. ^ Alyaa Azhar (11 May 2018). "Six switch sides, Warisan has majority with 35 seats". Malaysiakini. Retrieved 12 May 2018.
  10. ^ Boo Su-Lyn (27 April 2013). "Christians to continue using 'Allah' despite government appeal, says Dompok". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 28 April 2013. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  11. ^ Clara Chooi (9 August 2012). "Dr M 'insensitive' for defending Sabah illegals, says UPKO". The Malaysian Insider. Archived from the original on 5 November 2014. Retrieved 6 November 2014.
  12. ^ "Upko also wants ISA reviewed". Daily Express. 23 September 2008. Archived from the original on 24 September 2008. Retrieved 23 September 2008.

External linksEdit