DAP assemblymen who quit party to remain on Opposition bench

  • Nation
  • Friday, 21 Jan 2022

KOTA KINABALU: Two assemblymen, who quit Sabah DAP on Thursday (Jan 20) following a simmering falling out with state party chief Datuk Frankie Poon, will remain independents on the Opposition bench.

DAP's two-term Elopura assemblyman Calvin Chong and first term Sri Tanjong assemblyman Justin Wong said that they had no immediate plans on joining any party following their decision to leave DAP.

Justin said that he would remain as an independent Opposition assemblyman while also making a similar stand stating that he had no plans to work with any party on either side of the political divide.

The two assemblymen cleared the air as speculations were rife that they might be considering joining Parti Warisan.

The two assemblymen together with former DAP senator Adrian Lasimbang quit the party saying that they had lost confidence with Poon and Sabah DAP.

Adrian said that he was planning to go back to concentrate on his NGO work with the natives in rural Sabah and take a break from politics.

But, he did not rule out the option of joining the opposition party in the future.

"We have not decided. Will announce when the time comes. I also don't rule out Upko (a member of Pakatan Harapan)," he said when asked if he was looking at Warisan as a possible choice.

Chong, Adrian together with his sister Kapayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang and Kota Kinabalu MP Chan Fong Hin were ousted from the state DAP committee during the party election in November last year.

It was widely seen as Poon consolidating his position with the Sabah DAP. Chan was also replaced as Sabah DAP secretary with Luyang assemblyman Phoon Jin Zhe following the party elections.

The results of the state election saw Justin's father, Datuk Jimmy Wong, who was former Sabah DAP chairman, protesting against the ouster, and announced that he quit DAP almost immediately.

Internal tensions between the ousted group and Poon's camp continued to simmer, sources explained, adding that Justin, Chong and Adrian decided to leave as the local leadership failed to resolve issues within the party while party headquarters also did little to soothe the political developments in the state.

When contacted, Poon said that Sabah DAP would meet soon and will make a statement on the matter.

"Be patient," he said.

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