PETALING JAYA: Two opposition PKR MPs of Julau, Sarawak and Tebrau, Johor, have quit the party to declare their support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin and the Perikatan Nasional government.
Julau MP Larry Sng Wei Shein and Tebrau MP Steven Choong Shiau Yoon handed over their statutory declarations (SDs) in support of Perikatan to Muhyiddin yesterday at the Putrajaya International Convention Centre and stated that they will be “government-friendly Independents”.
This will give Muhyiddin a further boost of two more MPs in support of him in Dewan Rakyat, as the Prime Minister currently is said to hold a very small majority.
In a Facebook post, Muhyiddin said Sng – who was the Sarawak state PKR chief – and Choong handed over their SDs stating their support for him as the Prime Minister for the Perikatan government.
“The SDs by Sng and Choong were signed and handed over to me after the convening of the Cabinet meeting in conjunction with the first anniversary of Perikatan as the Federal Government in Putrajaya.
“Thank God, this support will further strengthen the Perikatan government in its efforts and planning to handle the Covid-19 pandemic and the recovery of the country’s economy, ” Muhyiddin said in his post.
Sng, when contacted, said that he made the decision to switch his support from the opposition Pakatan Harapan to Perikatan as there had been too much political instability in the past one year.
“I won the 2018 election as an independent and now I declare myself as a government-friendly Independent.
“Too much time has already been wasted, politicking and bickering while the people suffer.
“The Prime Minister is doing what is necessary to help Malaysians in this difficult time and I believe that I too should play a role in supporting him.
“In my constituency of Julau, the poorest in the country, people are suffering because of the economic impact of the pandemic, loss of jobs and income from low commodity prices.
“I have been unable to serve Julau effectively through lack of much needed development funds.
“With this move today, I am confident that I will be able to deliver my election promises to my electorate, ” said Sng, when contacted.
In a statement on Facebook on Sunday, Choong, who was also the Tebrau PKR division chief, cited the need for Federal Government assistance to solve issues in his constituency.
“Issues such as floods, illegal dumping of rubbish, pollution, illegal immigrants, loan sharks and scams are getting worse and must be dealt with as soon as possible.
“I am willing to work with the Finance Ministry to plan and draft a taxing system that could improve tax collection in the future and not burden the business community, ” said Choong, who has decades of experience as an auditor.
Senior Minister Datuk Seri Azmin Ali, who was instrumental for the pair coming on board, said that Choong and Sng pledged to support and strengthen the government through these challenging times.
“This is a significant move because Steven and Larry add to the multiracial 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 of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.
“They are not jumping, they are simply making the right decision after a year of assessing the government of Tan Sri Muhyiddin, ” said Azmin, who was formerly deputy president of PKR.
In Johor Baru, Johor PKR deputy chief Jimmy Puah Wee Tse expressed his disappointment.
Puah said that Choong’s action was a betrayal towards the party’s trust and the people who voted for him under the PKR ticket in the previous general elections.
“I urge him to do the honourable thing and resign from his position as an MP and surrender the mandate back to the people, ” he said.