KOTA KINABALU: "Godfather-style" management that favours patronage over inclusiveness is the main reason three Sabah DAP leaders quit the party recently, says former senator Adrian Lasimbang (pic).
He blamed state chairman Datuk Frankie Poon's ineffectiveness for his resignation on Thursday (Jan 20), along with assemblymen Calvin Chong (Elopura) and Justin Wong (Sri Tanjong).
"We made this decision after (considering) the situation of leadership... DAP in Sabah has lost its direction and ability to fight for issues that are important to the people of the state.
"We have lost faith in the state party leadership under the new chairman who did not show any initiative to unite and strengthen DAP's position, instead focusing only on the interests of key players and their followers," he said on Friday (Jan 21).
He said an overhaul was needed to avoid manipulation of DAP branches and eradicate the "godfather" mentality to make the party more inclusive especially for the indigenous community to become members.
Adrian, who has been working for the party in the interior of Sabah's Pensiangan area, said the existing party membership system was too difficult for rural communities to participate in.
"I joined (politics) because I want change and reform in the country's administrative institutions and chose DAP as the basis for this struggle, especially in empowering the indigenous people of Malaysia, especially in Sabah.
"However, with the current state of Sabah DAP leadership, (there is no longer) space to implement this effectively.
"I have decided to devote my resources and time to continuing my struggle through NGOs and the civil society movement," he added.
Adrian, whose sister Kapayan assemblyman Jannie Lasimbang remains with the party, thanked the top leadership who had given him the opportunity to learn and serve the community.
"I still believe that Pakatan Harapan has an important mission to bring about change in Malaysia.
"I sincerely hope the leadership can create a new formula and... work with all parties that want reform for Malaysia," he added.
Adrian's family is well known for its work with the grassroots over decades of community activities.
The siblings' participation in DAP was seen as strengthening the party's bid to secure support in the native areas.