KOTA KINABALU: Penampang federal lawmaker Darell Leiking has quit PKR to join former Umno vice-president Datuk Shafie Apdal’s ‘soon-to-be-announced’ new Sabah-based party.
Darell, who won the Penampang seat in the 2013 general election was seen accompanying Shafie when the Semporna strongman went to the Registrar of Societies building in Putrajaya on Thursday to discuss the taking over of the Sabah-based party.
The first-term MP who was a PKR vice-president said he had also informed key party leaders of his resignation.
“I left PKR recently (Sept 21). I did not announce it,” Leiking was quoted as saying.
“I have spoken to PKR president (Datuk Seri Dr) Wan Azizah (Wan Ismail) and given her my views, which she respected and I also respected her views,” he added.
In a letter addressed to Dr Wan Azizah, Leiking stressed that his decision to quit the party had nothing to do with PKR or Wan Azizah.
“In fact, as much as there are reasons for me to continue and to stand shoulder to shoulder with you and all our colleagues in Keadlian so as to fight and eventually defeat the Barisan Nasional regime led by Umno, there are also as many reasons for me to consider.”
Leiking said he would team up with Shafie, as he believes Shafie’s influence and experience will be able to make a difference in Sabah’s political landscape.
“There is no change in our stand as long as we want to save Sabah. We will be working with all forces (other Sabah opposition leaders.) We are not here to fight the Opposition,” he said, adding, “Our cause is the same. We want a new deal for the Malaysian federation.”
Leiking was quoted in another online report as saying that “as much as I love PKR, I love Sabah more.”
“PKR knows well enough that Sabah has been systematically destroyed, demographically engineered, maligned and abused by corrupt practises of all those within the Barisan Nasional and its stooges in Sabah,” said Leiking.
“As much as there [are] reasons to continue and stay shoulder to shoulder with Keadilan to fight and defeat BN, there is as many other compelling reasons to consider the same political cause through a state-based political platform.”
He said the decision to leave PKR was a heavy-hearted one, but he had sought advice from his circle of friends and family which strengthened his ideals for reform and change with strong Sabahan sentiments.
He added he remained convinced that he can can only continue his political struggle and cause with a Sabah-based opposition platform.
Meanwhile, Moyog assemblyman Terence Siambun is also expected to quit PKR and team up with Shafie and Darell.
It is believed that the first-term assemblyman has already submitted his resignation to the party, but has declined to comment on it publicly, telling friends and supporters he would “make an announcement at the appropriate time”.
The Moyog state seat is under the Penampang Parliament constituency.
Also with them was Sulabayan assemblyman Datuk Jaujan Sambakong, who has quit Umno several months ago.
PKR won seven state seats and one parliament seat in Sabah in the 2013 general election.
However, three PKR assemblymen – Jeremy Majalad (Kadamaian), Datuk Jelani Hamdan (Matunggong) and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing (Tamparuli) – have already quit the party.