Sabahan politicians popular for the wrong reasons

Sean Augustin,

The 11 PKR divisional leaders who resigned from the party have reinforced the stereotype that Sabahan politicians were unreliable, its deputy secretary-general Darell Leiking said.

In stating this, the Penampang MP also believes that political parties would be more wary of Sabahan politicians, compared to before because several individuals have caused the public to question their principles.
“We Sabahans are getting popular for the wrong reason, as people who cannot be trusted. Sad,” he told
He was commenting on Tuesday’s announcement which saw the group, which included two assemblymen, Datuk Jelani Hamdan (Matunggong) and Jeremy Malajad (Kadamaian), due to their loss of confidence with the opposition party.
Najib, who is also Barisan Nasional chairman, said a second wave of resignation could also be expected.
Sabahan political leaders, across the divide, have in the past on several occasions abandoned their parties to join their rivals, with the most significant crossover taking place in 1994 where several Parti Bersatu Sabah assemblymen defected to BN or formed their own parties.
This saw the fourth-term PBS government – then an opposition party – last only two weeks.
Leiking said it was unfortunate that the state has become the land where politicians used the rakyat as an excuse to leave the party, adding his believe the elected representatives can still serve the constituency even if they were at odds with the party.
He however understood if politicians abandoned the party if it changed “drastically”, where its constitution or purpose became “morally and legally” wrong to the point it caused substantive change.
Leiking went on to suggest that the party comes up with a  check list and get future candidates to make an open declaration to the electorates that they will not betray their trust.
“Record it, video it and affirm it.
“We need a new culture of trust where leaders are to stand firm and be trusted to execute their mandate without crossing over.” he said.