KOTA KINABALU: Former national Umno Youth exco and Papar Umno Youth division chief Armizan Ali has slammed Sabah DAP Socialist Youth (Dapsy) national publicity secretary Phoong Jin Zhe for describing PPBM’s imminent entry into Sabah as a “knife in the back” of the current state government.
Speaking to FMT here today, Armizan said he found it amusing that Phoong, who is also Luyang assemblyman, would speak out against PPBM’s plan to accept former Sabah Umno leaders into its fold.
“I wonder how he would describe the actions of Warisan and PKR who took in former Umno leaders into their respective parties after the general election?
“I would seriously advise the assemblyman to stop being in denial.
“Besides, does he not remember who set the precedent in Sabah?”
Armizan’s statement was supported by former Sabah Umno Youth information chief Mazlan Johari Manan who said he was puzzled by the negative reaction from the Sabah PH leaders and their supporters.
“I found Phoong’s claim that it was disrespectful of PPBM to come in and accept ‘frogs’ from Sabah Umno to be a wild accusation.
“His statement gives the impression that he has forgotten what had happened in the past.”
Mazlan said Phoong should remember how Warisan came into power, despite failing to gain the majority needed to form the state government after the May 9 general election.
Thanks to defections from Upko, Warisan and its allies in Sabah PH successfully toppled the BN coalition.
“Phoong branded former Sabah Umno leaders who intend to join PPBM as ‘frogs’ but he forgot about Upko, which jumped to join Warisan and PH. They are also ‘frogs’ by that definition.”
He added that PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad himself had explained the reason behind the party’s decision and Phoong should not reject outright the prime minister’s explanation that it was to strengthen the state government.
“Dr Mahathir has given his explanation. Instead of feeling threatened, Phoong should accept it with grace and respect the party’s decision.”
Meanwhile, some Warisan supporters have made their unhappiness known on social media, with many calling for Warisan president Shafie Apdal to continue fighting against PPBM’s entry.
One of the senior leaders, Ismaily Bungsu, who is also the Sabah Cultural Board chairman, even uploaded a post on his Facebook page where he criticised Mahathir for breaking a promise made with Warisan.
On the other hand, there is speculation that at least five Warisan elected representatives, including a state minister, are ready to cross over to join PPBM to merge with former Sabah Umno leaders in the party.