PKR has admitted it is saddened by its vice-president Darell Leiking’s decision to quit the national opposition party but understands his reasons for doing so, Datuk Saifuddin Abdullah said today.
According to the PKR leader and Pakatan Harapan secretary-general, Leiking has pledged to continue the fight against Barisan Nasional (BN) despite quitting.
This, Saifuddin explained, means there will be opportunities for Pakatan Harapan to work with the party Leiking will join as a part of a coalition bloc, especially in Sabah.
“I don’t think it is a blessing. PKR is saddened with him leaving. But we have an understanding.
“That he will continue his struggle to oust BN — here we can work as a coalition or opposition bloc. So, it’s not really a matter of blessing, but of understanding,” Saifuddin told Malay Mail Online when contacted.
“Like Sarawak, Sabah has its own dynamics. I think Dr Wan Azizah understands that. I understand it too,” he added, referring to PKR president Datuk Seri Dr Wan Azizah Wan Ismail.
After eight years in PKR, Leiking quit the national opposition party last week in order to pursue a more state-based struggle.
Leiking, who is Penampang MP, is PKR’s only federal lawmaker in Sabah.
He said that he had learnt a lot from his time with PKR but that it was the right time to move on to a local opposition platform.
Speaking to Malay Mail Online, he said that the absence of PKR de facto leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, who is currently in prison, was felt within the opposition and had hampered the momentum for change that they have been fighting for.
He said the decision to leave PKR was a heavy-hearted one, but he had sought advice from his circle of friends and family which strengthened his ideals for reform and change with strong Sabahan sentiments.
SHAZWAN MUSTAFA KAMAL