KOTA KINABALU – While disappointed with the sudden departure of seven of its Sabah office-bearers, the national DAP remains confident that the Opposition party will pull through.
National organising secretary Anthony Loke Siew Fook said the decision of the seven was “unacceptable” even as he acknowledged that they were not motivated by a personal grudge.
“We are very disappointed by the move, especially those who are elected representatives,” he told Malay Mail Online in Kuala Lumpur, when contacted soon after the defections.
“We know the reason is to join a Sabah based political platform and so on. Whatever the reasoning is, it’s unacceptable to us,” he added.
The resignation of the seven out of 16 Sabah DAP committee members has put a damper on the party, but the DAP parliamentary whip pointed out that its key leaders were still very committed to its fight.
“We have two MPs there, from Kota Kinabalu , and Sandakan and they both remain committed to the party,” he said, referring to Jimmy Wong Sze Phin and Stephen Wong respectively, “as well as Sri Tanjung Assemblyman (Chan Foong Hin).”
Leading the resignations were Likas assemblyman Junz Wong was the party’s state secretary and Joan Goh, its deputy chairman.
Meanwhile, PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang (or Tian Chua) said despite the defections, PKR will continue to be part of the facilitators to coordinate a broad opposition front in Sabah with other local and national parties.
Tian Chua, the Batu MP, also insisted that the bulk of Sabah PKR leadership will remain loyal to the peninsula-based opposition party.
“Keadilan Sabah has never been outside the struggle for Sabah autonomy. We have never been antagonistic to a strong Sabahan self-determination movement,” he added.
Sabah PKR chief Datuk Lajim Ukin, who is also Klias assemblyman, said he would be forming his own party, while Moyog assemblyman Terrence Siambun from PKR will be joining the new party started by former Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal.
Sabah PKR state secretary Datuk Maijol Mahap and Sabah Wanita PKR chief Johair Matlani also quit their party.
The four PKR leaders’ resignations came after former PKR vice-president Darell Leiking, who is Penampang MP, recently quit his party to join Shafie.