KOTA KINABALU: Datuk Peter Anthony’s conviction for a forgery case will not jeopardise Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat’s (KDM) chances of becoming an official member of Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).
GRS secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said Anthony could still prove his innocence after being sentenced to three years in jail and fined RM50,000 by a Sessions Court in Kuala Lumpur.
He added that it was KDM which was the one applying to become a component party of GRS and not Peter on his own.
“I think we should respect the proceedings (but) as we are all aware, he still has two avenues to appeal the verdict through the courts, so his chances of overturning the conviction are still wide open,” he said on Saturday (May 28).
Masidi was speaking to reporters after attending the official launching of GRS at the Sabah International Convention Centre here.
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.
On his return to Sabah on Friday (May 27), the Melalap assemblyman said he was focused on expanding KDM, adding that while he respected the court’s decision, he would continue to fight it in order to prove his innocence.
Towards this end, Masidi, who is also Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) deputy chief, said GRS was adopting an inclusive approach in an attempt to unite all political parties in Sabah.
“As I have mentioned several times before, the time for us to be divided is over (as) we need to unite for the sake of development in Sabah which is lagging far behind other states in the country," said Masidi.
“We have used too much of our time previously for politicking,” he added.
GRS was originally made up of Sabah PPBM, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Sabah STAR and the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP).
The GRS supreme council had earlier this month accepted the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) as its fifth member but left out the applications by KDM as well as by Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Thereafter, GRS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai explained the three parties’ applications have not been rejected but would be considered in due course as they needed more time to work with the parties before considering them as members.