KOTA KINABALU – Likas assemblyman Junz Wong is not about to do anything silly like quitting the Likas State seat just because his former colleagues in the DAP are urging him to do so.
Junz reminded them that should he quit, he would be barred from contesting in coming elections for at least five years according to the Election Commission (EC) rules.
Furthermore, Junz who left the DAP on Sunday, said he remains opposition-friendly.
“I did not jump to the Barisan Nasional. If I did, then I would have resigned without being told to. I am joining a local opposition party to continue the fight against BN,” he said to queries on Monday.
“With due respect to my old party, and my colleagues there, I will not vacate my seat. If I cannot stand in the coming election, how can I fight for Sabahans?”
Junz said he left the DAP with a heavy heart, but he came to the conclusion that his political journey had to be with a Sabah-based, multi-racial party, as per the requests of many of his supporters.
Junz, one of many fresh faces fielded by the DAP in the 2013 general elections won Likas by beating better known candidates, including former SAPP chief minister Datuk Yong Teck Lee, and BN candidate, Datuk Chin Shu Ying.
Following his announcement to quit, the first term assemblyman drew brickbats from his party, with Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong labelling him a traitor and DAP Youth chief Wong Kah Woh urging Junz to vacate his Likas seat.
Junz, who was also the former Sabah DAP secretary said he understood the anger of his former party leaders and supporters, but hoped they would understand his refusal to give up his seat all the same.
He claimed that Sabahans had lost faith in national politics and the fragmented state of the Opposition, and wanted leaders from local Opposition parties to fight their cause instead.
“This is a difficult, but necessary decision for me. I have to leave behind my comrades, leaders and mentor. DAP is a good party, but a local party is what is needed no,” he added.
Junz is widely speculated to join the outfit to be led by former Umno vice president, Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and former PKR national vice chairman, Darell Leiking. The party is awaiting approval from the Registrar of Societies.
It is expected to get clearance from the RoS by this week, or next week at the latest.
Meanwhile, DAP secretary-general Lim Guan Eng said the Sabah chapter of DAP will be able to address the issues that led to the mass resignations of its leaders.
Lim said he is awaiting a full report from Sabah DAP chief Stephen Wong, but expressed confidence in the latter’s ability to handle the problem.
“I will leave this to the Sabah DAP chairman. He will issue a statement later so I will leave it to him,” he said when met by reporters after he launched a community hall in Penang Monday.
Other DAP leaders who left are its deputy chairman Joan Goh, vice-chairman George Hiew and treasurer David William.
Wong is expected to name replacements for those who left on Tuesday.