KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Peter Anthony is focused on expanding his Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (KDM) as he takes his conviction for a forgery case by a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur in his stride.
Anthony, who returned to the Sabah capital on Friday (May 27), a day after he was sentenced to three years’ jail and fined RM50,000, said he respected the court’s decision but will continue to fight it in order to prove his innocence.
“I will not be silenced or stopped from my plans to travel to all the parts of Sabah to be with the people,” he said when met on arrival at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport (KKIA) here.
“For me, this development will instead boost my drive to continue to fight for the people and strengthen Sabah’s position (in the country).
“As long as I still have two avenues to appeal the decision, I must remain as the KDM president and stay as a valid sitting assemblyman in accordance with the law,” the Melalap assemblyman added.
Anthony, 51, was sentenced to three years in jail and fined RM50,000 on Thursday (May 26) after he was found guilty of falsifying documents relating to a system maintenance contract that his company was awarded nine years ago.
The jail time, which was ordered to run from Thursday, was stayed after Anthony’s lawyer S. Devanandan applied for a stay of execution pending an appeal to the High Court.
Sessions judge Azura Alwi nevertheless ordered for the fine to be paid on the day itself.
Anthony, a former Parti Warisan vice-president, appeared from the arrival hall at KKIA with a smile as some 50 of his supporters welcomed him home at about 11.40am Friday.
KDM members lined up to shake hands and hug their leader, with some also shouting “hidup KDM” (long live KDM).
When asked how he felt following the court ruling, Anthony said all is “okay” and that he will continue to fight for Sabahans’ interests and welfare.
“Let the people judge for themselves what’s going on. Is this a case of robbery, stealing money, corruption or did it cause the government or the Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) to lose any money? No.
“But I respect the court’s decision,” he said, adding his supporters, who have been sending him words of encouragement since Thursday, were also taken aback.
He subsequently thanked his supporters for their love and support, saying they have nothing to be worried about.
“We have nothing to fear as long as we did not do anything wrong. Don’t ever be afraid (as) I believe God will be with us,” he said, to loud cheers from his supporters.
The charge against Anthony involved events that happened during his time as a businessman before he became active in politics with Warisan.