Datuk Ewon Ebin (born June 26, 1954) is a Malaysian politician who served as the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation of Malaysia (MOSTI) and represented Ranau as the Member of Parliament of Malaysia from 2013 to 2018.
He is a former member of the United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation (UPKO), a political party in the state of Sabah, which he was one of the founders 26 years ago. He left UPKO in February 2020, citing that the party leadership had derailed from its original objectives and failed to protect the welfare of its members, the indigenous Sabahans, and other Malaysians from Sabah. His resignation leads 5,000 UPKO members to quit the party, including committee members from the Ranau division.
In March 2020, Datuk Ewon Ebin declared that he will be joining Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah under the leadership of former federal minister Datuk Seri Panglima Anifah Aman.
Ewon was born and raised in Bundu Tuhan, Ranau. A village located at the foot of the tallest mountain in South East Asia, The Mount Kinabalu. He is married with six children and has a Bachelor of Legislative Law (LLB) conferred by the University of Malaya. After graduation, he became a lawyer and owned a Law Firm, Tetuan Vitales Ewon & Co, in Kota Kinabalu. In 1979, Datuk Ewon was appointed as a First Class Magistrate, which he served for more than five years.
Career in Government
Datuk Ewon held several high government positions. Between 1985 to 2001, he served as the Chairman of Sabah Rubber Fund Board, Chairman of Permodalan Bumiputra Sabah, Director of Sabah Bank and Deputy Chairman of Sabah Economic Development Corporation (SEDCO).
Member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly
Datuk Ewon’s political career began to shine when he was at the age of 31. He won the Sabah State Legislative Assembly for N.13 Kundasang in the year 1985 under Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), which he held the position for almost 15 years.
From 2004 to 2013, he became the first Member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly for N.31 Paginatan through United Progressive Kinabalu Organisation. UPKO is another political party in Sabah, which he founded together with Tan Sri Bernard Dompok and other former leaders from Parti Bersatu Sabah.
During his time as a Member of the Sabah State Legislative Assembly, Datuk Ewon Ebin has held various positions in Sabah State Government. Beginning by serving the State as:
- Assistant Minister of Local Government and Housing
- Assistant Minister of Tourism and Environment
- Assistant Minister of Industrial Development
In 2004, Datuk Ewon was appointed by the Chief Minister of Sabah as Minister of Industrial Development. After serving the position for a term, he was assigned to another portfolio as the Minister of Rural Development until the 2013 General Election.
In the 2013 general election, Datuk Ewon was elected to the federal Parliament for the seat of P.179 Ranau in the state of Sabah. In his first term in parliament, he was selected to become one of the Prime Minister’s Cabinet Minister. He served as the Minister of Science, Technology, and Innovation of Malaysia.
Member of Parliament – Ranau P.179
Member of Sabah State Legislative Assembly – Paginatan N.31
Member of Sabah State Legislative Assembly – Kundasang N.13
Change of Allegiance
On the morning of 25 February 2020, Datuk Ewon Ebin held a press conference at Lohan Rest House in Ranau, announcing that he is quitting the party as UPKO’s Ranau Chief Division. A position held by him since 1994.
“After discussing with the leaders of the division, branches and members from UPKO Ranau, today, I, along with division committee members, the youth body, women and Komulakan, as well as members, numbering around 5000 plus, resigned from UPKO and relinquish all our positions with immediate effect,” said Datuk Ewon Ebin.
Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah
On the 7th of March 2020, Four Political Parties in Sabah signed a Memorandum of Understanding, forming a new alliance to challenge Party Warisan as the ruling party in Sabah.
This merger will be lead by former federal minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman as the new President of Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah.
Datuk Ewon Ebin, in his speech, said that he and his supporters agreed to join Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah is because of the objectives and core struggles will be to seek solutions on the dispute over the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and to solve the illegal immigrant issue.
The reason behind his decision to join PGRS was not just based on Anifah’s strong leadership quality only, it was also because of other leaders and politicians joining the Party as well.
Collectively, it is a well experienced line-up. With the combination knowledge in politics, economy, governance on local, state and national level, Ewon is confident that PGRS can be the right platform for the people of Sabah.
Under the new alliance, Datuk Ewon’s mission is to continue voicing the issues of illegal immigrants, the development in rural areas, and the dispute over MA63.
POLITICIANS IN PARTI GAGASAN RAKYAT SABAH
Datuk Seri Panglima ANIFAH AMAN
Datuk Seri Panglima Wilfred Bumburing
Datuk Henrynus Amin
Dr Ahtiong Tituh
DATUK EWON EBIN
Datuk Dr. Marcus Mojigoh
Datuk James Ligunjang
Datuk Kalakau Untol
Johan Mangku Negara(JMN)
Justice of Peace (JP)
Panglima Gemilang Darjah Kinabalu (PGDK)