Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu

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United Traditional Bumiputera Party
Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu
Abbreviation PBB
President Adenan Satem
Chairperson Mohd Asfia Awang Nassar
Secretary-General Stephen Rundi Utom
Spokesperson Yusop Sani Wahap
Founder Jugah Anak Barieng
Deputy President Alfred Jabu Numpang
Abdul Rahman Zohari Abang Openg
Youth Leader Fadillah Yusof
Women Leader Empiang Jabu
Founded 5 January 1973
(Upon merging of BUMIPUTERA & PESAKA)
Legalised 30 April 1973
Merger of Parti Bumiputera Sarawak (BUMIPUTERA)1 2
Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (PESAKA)3
Headquarters Kuching, Sarawak
Youth wing Pemuda PBB
Women's wing Wanita PBB
Membership 300,000
Ideology Nationalism
Political position Right-wing
National affiliation Barisan Nasional (1973–present)
Colours Red, white, yellow, black
Dewan Negara:
2 / 70
Dewan Rakyat:
14 / 222
Sarawak State Legislative Assembly:
35 / 71
Election symbol
Barisan Nasional Logo.svg
Politics of Malaysia
Political parties
1 Parti Negara Sarawak and Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak merged to form Parti Bumiputera Sarawak.
2 Parti Bumiputera Sarawak consisted of Malay, Melanau, Kedayan, Jatti Mereik, and Orang Ulu members.
2 Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak consisted of Iban and Bidayuh members.
Coat of arms of Malaysia.svg
This article is part of a series on the
politics and government of

The Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu, or PBB (English: United Traditional Bumiputera Party) is a right-wing political party in Malaysia. It is currently the largest political party in Sarawak, with strongholds only in the rural areas. The party is one of the constituents of the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu was formed from the combination of three parties in Sarawak; Parti Negara Sarawak (PANAS), Barisan Rakyat Jati Sarawak (BARJASA) and Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (PESAKA). The formation of the party was for the purpose of the improvement of the livelihood and protect the rights of the Bumiputera in many fields such as politics, economy and social.

The meaning of "Bumiputera"

Bumiputera is a Malaysian political term and translates to son of earth. Being mentioned in the party's name, this directly relates to the ethnic groups that are seen as native to the state of Sarawak. Members of the party are solely of Sarawak Bumiputera ethnicity. In article 161a of the Federal Constitution of Malaysia, 21 ethnic groups are classified as "natives of Sarawak", among these are the Ibans, Bidayuhs and several other Dayak people as well as Sarawakian Malays.


Parti Negara Sarawak (PANAS)

PANAS which was formed on 9 April 1960 by Datu Patinggi Abang Haji Mustapha, was the second political party to be formed after Sarawak United People's Party (SUPP).

Barisan Ra'ayat Jati Sarawak (BARJASA)

BARJASA was formed on 4 December 1961 by Tuanku Bujang Tuanku Othman. Abdul Rahman Ya'kub and Abdul Taib Mahmud were among the earliest members of the party.

Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak (PESAKA)

Parti Pesaka Anak Sarawak was formed in Sibu in August 1962 to cater for the Ibans of Batang Rajang. Its promoters refused to join the Sarawak National Party, which they claimed only catered for Ibans from Saribas. Among the initiators of the party were Penghulu Masam Anak Radin, Pengarah Banyang, Penghulu Chundi Anak Resa and Penghulu Umpau. Temenggong Jugah, Temenggong Oyong Lawai Jau and Jonathan Bangau joined later. While Jugah and Oyong Lawai Jau were incipiently members of PANAS, Bangau was from SUPP. Other Penghulus from other divisions such as Penghulu Tawi Sli (Second Division) and Penghulu Abok Anak Jalin (Bintulu) also joined PESAKA. PESAKA was therefore known as the Penghulus’ Party. However, the person who actually mooted the idea of forming PESAKA was Thomas Kana, a former dresser at Kuala Belait. He was made the first secretary-general of the party.

Formation of Parti Bumiputera

In order to ensure the domination of Muslim Bumiputra in Sarawak politics, PANAS and BARJASA initiated a plan of merger a few months after the local council elections of Sarawak in 1963. Initially, both parties were willing to dissolve themselves in order to allow United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) to enter Sarawak. However, UMNO was not interested in accepting non-Malay bumiputeras as members. Therefore, the Malaysian federal government recommended that the two parties combine to form a new separate party. After a series of negotiations, Parti Bumiputera Sarawak was formed on 30 March 1968. On the following day after the merger, Abang Ikhwan Zaini was elected as the president of Parti Bumiputera, Tuanku Haji Bujang as vice-president, and Taib Mahmud as the secretary-general of the party.[1] According to Sanib:

Parti Bumiputera exercised a significant role in the Sarawak cabinet under the leadership of Sarawak chief minister Tawi Sli. Taib Mahmud dominated most of the decision making. Parti Bumiputera and Sarawak Chinese Association (SCA) were the members of Sarawak Alliance. During the 1970 Sarawak state election, Parti Bumiputera won 12 seats while SCA won 3 seats out of a total of 48 seats. However, not a single party command a majority in Council Negri (now Sarawak State Legislative Assembly). Abdul Rahman from Parti Bumiputera was able to convince SUPP to form a state government with him as the chief minister.[1]

Formation of PBB

Parti Bumiputera already started its negotiations with PESAKA about the merger of both the parties in 1968. However, PESAKA did not accept the idea because they afraid that the Muslim bumiputera members will dominate the new party. PESAKA decided to join Sarawak Alliance without a merger with Parti Bumiputera in order to preserve their dominance in Sarawak politics. However, in 1970 state election, PESAKA won only 8 seats as compared to 12 seats by Parti Bumiputera and another 12 seats by SNAP. PESAKA was not able to nominate a new chief minister from their own party unlike in 1966 when they was able to nominate Tawi Sli as their chief minister. Another negotiation was held between PESAKA and Parti Bumiputera in September 1972 and both sides agreed to merge on 5 January 1973. The PBB party was officially registered on 30 April 1973.[1]

The party was divided into two wings namely:[1]

  • Bumiputera wing which consisted of Malay, Melanau, Kedayan, Jatti Mereik, and Orang Ulu members
  • PESAKA wing which consisted of Iban and Bidayuh members

Objectives of PBB

  • To protect and defend Malaysia's independence, sovereignty, and character.[1]
  • To uphold both the federal and state constitution.
  • To protect and defend the principles enshrined in the federal and state constitution, especially on position, fundamental rights, and special privileges of bumiputera.
  • To protect and guarantee the future rights of bumiputera.[1]
  • To develop the bumiputera, specifically, Malaysians, generally, in the educational, economic, social, and cultural spheres.
  • To promote and protect the feeling of harmony and solidarity of among Malaysians towards creating a strong united nation.
  • To protect the rule of parliamentary democracy.
  • To support and defend the United Nation's charter.
  • To take effective steps in eradicating subsersive movements which could compromise Malaysia's security.[1]

Party structure

The party structure of PBB is in many ways resembles to that of the national party United Malays National Organisation (UMNO) due to the influence exerted by Abdul Rahman Ya'kub. PBB has four levels of bureaucracy namely:[1]

  • General Assembly (similar to UMNO's General Assembly)
  • Supreme Council (similar to UMNO's Supreme Council)
  • Branches (set up in each state constituencies in Sarawak, similar to UMNO's divisions which is set up in each parliamentary constituency in Malaysia except for the state of Sarawak.)
  • Sub-branches (similar to UMNO's branches)
  • Each level will have its own youth and women wings

The party's general assembly is held every 3 years to assemble all party leaders and grassroot members to discuss party policies, responsibility of Supreme Council, and to elect party leaders into Supreme Council but does not influence party directions and policies. The party constitution was amended so that "the party's system of representation of at general assemblies in line with the system used by UMNO". Therefore, a chairman will be in-charge of the general assembly, allowing the party president take an active role during the assembly. The party's first ever general assembly was held from 13 to 14 July 1974, less than a month before the 1974 Malaysian general election. All the party's top posts were not contested at that time. In this general assemnbly, Abang Abu Bakar and Salleh Jafaruddin (Rahman's nephew) from bumiputera wing were elected to the party's executive committee. Alfred Jabu Numpang, from PESAKA wing was also elected to become youth chief of the party. He would later become deputy chief minister of Sarawak under the chieftainship of Taib Mahmud.[1]

The Supreme Council consisted of:[1]

  • Yang di-Pertua (also known as President)
  • Deputy Yang di-Pertua (also known as Deputy president)
  • Vice-Yang di-Pertuas (also known as vice-presidents, consisted of 9 people)
  • Secretary-general
  • Deputy secretary-general
  • Assistant secretary-general (5 people)
  • Treasurer
  • Assistant treasurer
  • Publicity chief
  • Assistant publicity chief
  • Appointed executive committee members (11 people)
  • Elected executive committee members (20 people)

During the formation of PBB, both Parti Bumiputera and PESAKA agreed to elect a PESAKA leader to become the president of the party. The party had 7 vice-presidents instead of the current 9 members. 4 vice-president posts will be given to Bumiputera wing while 3 will be given to PESAKA wing. The secretary-general post will be given to Bumiputera wing while assistant secretary-general posts will be divided among Bumiputera wing (1 person) and PESAKA wing (3 people). The rest of the party posts were given to Bumiputera wing while youth chief post will be given to PESAKA wing.[1]

Party leadership

No. Name of party presidents Took office Left office
1. Jugah Anak Barieng 30 April 1973 September 1975
2. Abdul Taib Mahmud October 1975 1977
3. Abdul Rahman Ya'kub 1977 26 March 1981
4. Abdul Taib Mahmud 26 March 1981 28 February 2014
5. Adenan Satem 1 March 2014 present

After the formation of PBB, Temenggong Jugah Anak Barieng was appointed as the first president of the PBB while Taib Mahmud was appointed deputy president and Abdul Rahman Ya'kub was appointed the secretary-general of the party. In September 1975, Abdul Rahman suddenly announced his retirement from politics due to criticisms to his administration of the Sarawak state. Few weeks later, Temenggong Jugah also announced his retirement as the president of PBB. In October 1975, Taib Mahmud was appointed to the president of PBB to fill the vacancy left by Temenggong Jugah while Leonard Linggi, the son of Temenggong Jugah, was appointed to the secretary-general post, replacing Abdul Rahman. However, Abdul Rahman remained as the executive member of PBB and the leader of Sarawak Barisan Nasional (BN). Alfred Jabu moved his rank to the deputy president post while Celestine Ujang fill the youth chief post left vacant by Alfred Jabu.[1]

Two months later, Abdul Rahman changed his mind while he announced that he would not retire in the next five years. Abdul Rahman decided to take over the PBB presidency from Taib. For Taib, this was a dilemma but all the other party posts have been occupied. Taib demanded his uncle Abdul Rahman to create another deputy president post for him by changing the party constitution. Finally during the 1977 PBB general assembly meeting, another deputy president post was created and given to Taib while Abdul Rahman became the president of the party.[1]

Rahman retired from politics on 26 March 1981 and his nephew Taib Mahmud succeeded him as the PBB president for the second time. After holding the post for 33 years, Taib Mahmud retired from politics while allowing his former brother-in-law, Adenan Satem to take over the party on 1 March 2014.

Elected representatives

Dewan Negara (Senate)


  1. Dayang Madinah Abang Openg – elected by the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly
  2. Lihan Jok – elected by the Sarawak State Legislative Assembly

Dewan Rakyat (House of Representatives)

Members of Parliament of the 13th Malaysian Parliament

Dewan Undangan Negeri (State Legislative Assembly)

Malaysian State Assembly Representatives



  • Chin, James. 2003: The Melanau-Malay Schism Erupts Again: Sarawak at the Polls. In: New Politics in Malaysia. Lok Kok Wah / Johan Saravanamuttu, Singapore: Institute of South East Asian Studies (ISBN 981-230-169-0), pp. 213–227
  • James Chin. “The More Things Change, The More They Remain The Same”, in Chin Kin Wah & D. Singh (eds.) South East Asian Affairs 2004 (Singapore: Institute of South East Asian Studies, 2004)
  • James Chin. “Autonomy: Politics in Sarawak” in Bridget Welsh (ed) Reflections: The Mahathir Years, (Washington DC: Johns Hopkins University Press, 2004) (ISBN 9790615 124871) pp. 240–251

External links