KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan Sabah now holds 29 seats in the state legislative assembly after newly independent Kuamut assemblyman Datuk Masiung Banah joined the party barely a month after quitting Upko.
Masiung, who was Upko vice-president, announced his departure from the party on Nov 24, citing differences in political struggles and objectives within the party.
He submitted his membership application form to join Warisan to the party's secretary-general Loretto Padua Jr, witnessed by vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, at the Tenom Community Hall on Tuesday (Dec 18).
Masiung said he chose to join Warisan because it was a multi-racial party and was, thus, a unifying platform for all ethnic groups in Sabah.
"The outcome of GE14 showed a shift among the people towards multi-racial parties, and not race-based or ethnic-based ones.
"Under the leadership of party president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Warisan is committed to continue fighting for Sabah rights.
"As the Chief Minister, he runs the state without looking at social class, race or religion" said Masiung.
He said he believed the Warisan-led state government would provide help and development to his constituency of Kuamut.
The two-term assemblyman is one of four Upko assemblymen who have followed the party’s supreme council decision to switch their allegiance from Barisan Nasional to the Warisan-Pakatan Harapan alliance in Sabah.
Initially, Masiung said he was not thinking of joining other political parties but would prefer to work as a government-friendly independent representative.
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