Trouble brewing in Sabah DAP

Rumours that the Luyang assemblyman is about to jump ship to BN is rife in Sabah. Attempts to clarify the matter with Hiew King Cheu just leads to more questions but no actual answer.

Trouble is brewing in Sabah DAP. Hiew is acting in a political tease that the state has not seen since Datuk Lajim Ukin and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing made their long kiss goodbye to Barisan Nasional last year. 

Philip Golingai, The Star

“WILL he jump? He will definitely jump,” a Sabah DAP leader told me when I asked if his comrade, Luyang assemblyman Hiew King Cheu would quit the party.

“It is a public camouflage. Hiew said he would ask the people whether he should leave DAP. For us, we know he has already made up his mind,” he said.

Trouble is brewing in Sabah DAP. Hiew is acting in a political tease that the state has not seen since Datuk Lajim Ukin and Datuk Wilfred Bumburing made their long kiss goodbye to Barisan Nasional last year.

“Are you going to jump?” I asked Hiew in a phone conversation yesterday.

“Nothing, nothing … it is reported (in the media) in an angle that I am leaving DAP.

“That is just speculation. I just resigned as state adviser. It has been blown out of proportion that I am leaving DAP. And, it does not help that Barisan (via LDP, a component party) has extended an offer for me to join it,” he said.

If he wanted to leave the party, Hiew would seek the people’s view on the matter.

“It is not for me to decide,” he said.

Some of his voters, the Luyang assemblyman claimed, wanted him to leave DAP.

“In 505 (May 5) they voted for Pakatan Rakyat because they wanted Pakatan to form the Federal Government.

“Now that it has not materialised, they say mati lah (die lah) this time as we are now in the opposition,” he said.

“We have to apologise to them for not delivering the Federal Go­vern­ment.

“We promised them ubah (change). But what is ubah? It is just a slogan as Barisan is back in power.

“The people are upset and angry. They regret voting for the opposition. Some even scolded me because DAP could not deliver the Federal Government to them.

But, what can DAP do? We are only 1/3 of Pakatan. We delivered the seats when we won 38 MP seats (but not PAS and PKR).”

“What did you mean when you said the people menyesal (regret) voting for the opposition?” I asked.

“That is the general feedback I got from the ground. It (the sentiment) is true. Pembangkang (opposition). So what? In the end it is about the rakyat (people). We have to look at it in the correct way. As a wakil rakyat I have my responsibilities,” he said.

“For five years I was the MP for Kota Kinabalu (2008 to 2013).

“What was the result? After bising bising (making noise) and teriak teriak (shouting), nothing happened.

“Let’s be realistic and practical. The ADUN (assemblyman fund for Barisan) is RM1mil a year.

“For five years, that is RM5mil. Can you imagine what we can do for Luyang (a suburb next to Kota Kinabalu)? We can fix the pavements in Luyang.”

“If people want to be stubborn, we can throw this (RM5mil).

“But, can we tahan (withstand not having any development) for five years? I can go back to lawan tetap lawan! (we will continue the fight!) But if you continue to lawan (fight), you get nothing.”

The Sabah DAP leader, who was sure his comrade would leave the party, said Hiew was not listening to the people.

“What the people want him to do is not to quit DAP. But, if he wants to quit DAP, they want him to quit as Luyang assemblyman too, so that they can decide in a by-election who they want to represent them,” he said.

“The talk is you will jump. Even your DAP comrades think you will jump,” I asked Hiew, again.

“If I wanted to jump, I would have jumped by now,” he said.

“If you do jump, aren’t you worried that people will call you a frog?” I asked.

“Yes, people will call me katak (frog) and other names.

“Lajim (who is now Sabah opposition head) is called king of frogs. But his people still love him,” Hiew said.

“(In 1994) Lajim even caused the collapse of PBS (when he ditched PBS to join Umno).

“What is the big deal? Frog or not a frog, the people (in his Klias seat) benefited when he became a state minister (in the Umno-led Sabah government).

“And, Lajim has won election after election. People still supported him. Even during this round after he jumped out of Barisan, he still won (the Klias state seat). It is the people who are the backbone and not the party that you stand for.”

Hiew said that he did not owe DAP for his political successes.

“DAP should look at what I have done for DAP. From zero – a party that was scolded by Sabahans as ‘Rocket parti Semenanjung kacau saja’ (DAP, the party from peninsular Malaysia that only wanted to cause a disturbance) – to two YBs (Kota Kinabalu MP and Sri Tanjung assemblyman in 2008) to four assemblymen and two MPs in 2013. I am responsible for this,” he said.

“If the people tell me to leave DAP, I will leave DAP.

“However, there are also some people telling me not to leave. At the moment it is 50/50.”