KUCHING: Rumours are swirling that Richard Riot, the only SUPP MP to successfully defend his seat in the May 9 election, intends to join PKR despite his initial vow to remain with Barisan Nasional (BN) for the time being.
Riot, who retained the Serian parliamentary seat, had reportedly expressed disappointment over the election results, saying the defeat of his party colleagues showed that “SUPP has lost the support of the people”.
Recent reports said he had lately expressed uneasiness over being the sole MP from SUPP.
When contacted, Sarawak PKR chairman Baru Bian said there had been no official application from Riot as of yet.
“Now that PKR is part of the federal government, many people want to join the party. So such talk is nothing new,” he said.
Sarawak Pakatan Harapan (PH) chairman Chong Chieng Jen, meanwhile, told reporters that Riot was “not a suitable candidate to be admitted into PH”.
Chong pointed to the corruption charge against Riot’s political secretary, Peter Runin, adding that Riot’s denial of involvement showed his incompetence as a minister.
“This is a case involving RM40 million, not RM4,000 or RM40,000. How could the minister not be aware of such a huge amount that was missing?”
He added that he would advise Baru on the issue, expressing hope that PKR would not accept Riot into the party.
Riot, who is former human resources minister, was questioned last September by the Malaysian Anti-Corruption Commission in a probe into the misappropriation of some RM40 million from the Skills Development Fund Corp (SDFC).
Riot himself was not implicated in the case.