Likas assemblyman Junz Wong has stressed he will not vacate his state seat which he won on a DAP ticket, despite being pressured to do so by his former party.
He said this was because he was still with the Opposition and Election Commission (EC) rules would bar him from contesting in coming elections if he resigned as an assemblyman.
“With due respect to my old party, I will not vacate my seat. If I cannot stand in the coming election, how can I fight for the Sabahans?”
“I am not jumping to the BN (Barisan Nasional). If I did, I would resign without being told to. I am joining a local Opposition party to continue the fight against BN,” he told FMT.
The 14th General Election must be held latest by August 24, 2018.
Wong, alongside Klias assemblyman, Lajim Ukin and Moyog assemblyman, Terrence Siambun – both from PKR – announced they were leaving their respective parties at a press conference in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, yesterday.
The first term assemblyman’s exit from DAP drew brickbats from his party, with Sabah DAP chairman Stephen Wong labelling him a traitor and DAP Youth chief Wong Kah Woh urging Junz to vacate his Likas seat.
Wong, the former Sabah DAP secretary said he understood the anger of his former party leaders and supporters, but hoped they would understand his refusal to give up his seat all the same.
He claimed that Sabahans had lost faith in national politics and the fragmented state of the Opposition, and wanted leaders from local Opposition parties to fight their cause instead.
“This is a difficult, but necessary decision for me. I have to leave behind my comrades, leaders and mentor. DAP is a good party, but a local party is what is needed now.”
A number of elected representatives and leaders from the Opposition have left their respective parties since of late, beginning with Penampang MP Darell Leiking of PKR, who quit his party to join a new Sabah-based Opposition party led by former Umno Vice-President Shafie Apdal.
Among the others who quit their parties were Sabah PKR Secretary-General Maijol Mahap, Sabah PKR Wanita chief Johair Matlan, Sabah DAP Treasurer David Williams dan Sabah DAP Vice-Chairman George Hiew.
None have revealed which party they would join.
Wong said more Pakatan Harapan assemblymen and leaders would follow suit.
“We all made our decisions of our own accord, which is why there are many who have yet to decide which party we would join.
“However we are united in fighting the BN and we will work with PKR and DAP at a national level to defeat Prime Minister Najib Razak.”