Poon says two defecting DAP reps left to beat Anti-Hopping law, wants them to quit seats


KOTA KINABALU: Beleaguered Sabah DAP chief Frankie Poon hits back at his detractors, saying the two who left the party gave "unsavory" excuses because they wanted to leave ahead of next month's Anti Hopping Bill to be tabled in parliament.

Poon, whose alleged autocratic leadership was blamed for the reason they quit on Thursday (Jan 20), said that the two assemblymen had abused the political mandate of the people by resigning to be an independent assemblymen, or subsequently join another political party.

"If they are so unhappy, then they should resign as elected assemblymen. That is the honourable thing to do," he said in a statement issued here Friday (Jan 21) following the resignations of Calvin Chong (Elopura), Justin Wong (Sri Tanjong) and former Senator Adrian Lasimbang from the party.

Describing their move as disappointing, Poon denied allegations by the leaders and wondered what they were trying to insinuate with the statement that there was a lack of trust portrayed by the leadership in the State Committee, the state chairman in particular.

"I am mystified by their comments. I have no idea what they are trying to insinuate," he said.

He was particularly saddened by Wong, a first term assemblyman, who had won the highest votes from the party's delegates during the Nov last election but avoided coming for the committee's first meeting on Nov 21 despite so many repeated calls.

"That was very unbecoming of a YB and an elected member to the state committee and irresponsible towards members' trust in him.

"I have never rebuked or reprimanded him for whatever shortcomings. Instead, I called to advise him on the correct approaches, if there were issues," he said.

Poon said the many times he called Wong to meet up in Tawau or Kota Kinabalu, the frequent excuse would be he was unable to attend because of family dinners.

In Chong's case, he said that he lost in the state party election and "Now, who is to be blamed for not acquiring such a mandate?"

"We are barely two months into the new term of the State Committee and they are already unhappy? This term will be for three years.

"Surely it can't be the reason. Maybe they had their plans. Probably the proposed Anti Hopping Law hastened their plans," he said.

Poon stressed that he had spoken to other DAP YBs about certain issues, but never rebuked them.

"If anything, I offered advice to them. We resolved issues one-to-one. That is respect I accord to our YBs," he added.

He said that he had shared his plans to the state Committee to tour Sabah on a regular basis in coming years to build relationships and recruit more members and share the party’s visions.

"All YBs had been invited to join in. Shouldn't this be one of the ways forward to enhance our strength? Maybe this kind of work will become too much for them to handle," he said

"I urge all supporters and members to remain calm. We will certainly rebuild our two constituencies with our members. We will continue to provide services to the respective local communities, notwithstanding," he said.

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 Sabah , DAP , Frankie Poon , Calvin Chong , Justin Wong

   

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