PETALING JAYA: Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali has confirmed that two PKR MPs - Steven Choong of Tebrau and Larry Sng of Julau - have quit the party and pledged to support and strengthen the Perikatan Nasional government through these challenging times.
Azmin confirmed this after the two MPs emerged from a meeting with Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin in Putrajaya shortly after 2pm Sunday (Feb 28).
The pair will give a much-needed boost to the government bench in Parliament where Perikatan is struggling with the numbers.
“This is a significant move because Choong and Sng adds to the multi-racial composition of Perikatan. It shows that our coalition is open to all ethnic groups.
“They told the PM that they support the way he has mitigated the Covid-19 pandemic and the measures taken on the economic front, ” said Azmin, who was formerly PKR deputy president.
He said the pair is making the right decision after spending the last one year assessing the performance of the government.
It is understood that Sng had wanted to resign as Sarawak PKR chairman last month but was persuaded by the PKR leadership to hold on.
Sng, 41, is considered a big catch for Perikatan given his leadership role in PKR.
The Julau MP hails from a wealthy and politically connected family in Sarawak.
His timber tycoon father Datuk Sng Chee Hua is closely associated with Sarawak Governor Tun Abdul Taib Mahmud and also a close friend of Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.
Sng himself is married to May Ting, the daughter of the late tycoon Tan Sri Ting Pek Khiing.
Choong, on the other hand, has long been associated with the Azmin camp in PKR but had hesitated to follow him out of PKR last year.
“They are not jumping, they are simply making the right decision after a year of assessing the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin, ” said Azmin.
Muhyiddin met the pair after a political retreat for Cabinet members at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre this morning.
Meanwhile, PKR was the landing pad for three Parti Amanah Negara assemblymen from Johor.
The trio were reported to be Khairuddin A. Rahim (Senggarang), Faizul Amri Adnan (Serom) and Muhamad Said Jonit (Mahkota).
The crossover of the three assemblymen is bound to strain the ties between Amanah and PKR because friendly parties normally do not poach wakil rakyat from each other.
The Johor crossovers had come on the heels of Parti Warisan Sabah assemblyman Hassan A. Gani crossing over to Gabungan Parti Sabah (GPS).
Speculation is rife of more crossovers involving Warisan and Amanah elected representatives.