Sabah a laughing stock due to rampant defections, says Rahman Dahlan

Abdul Rahman Dahlan (Bernama pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Former Umno federal minister Abdul Rahman Dahlan today slammed the continuous defection of assemblymen in Sabah, urging the people to reject such leaders in the next general election.

Rahman was disgusted with the latest defection – that of Balung representative Osman Jamal and PBS’ Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting – to Warisan this week, saying they had “made a mockery” of the country’s democratic process.

“This has made Sabah into a laughing stock because the phenomenon of jumping parties is too rampant in the state until the people are talking about the need for an election if the YBs (elected reps) betray their mandate.

“A government that has already been formed can simply be toppled through the back door,” said the Umno Supreme Council member here today.

Osman, who won on a Barisan Nasional ticket on May 9 last year but pledged allegiance to Warisan two days later, officially handed his application form on Monday while Anita ditched PBS to join Warisan yesterday.

Both the elected representatives expressed their desire to continue bringing development to their constituencies as the main reason for linking up with Warisan.

“The excuse that they want to look after the people’s interest doesn’t make sense. They can’t be fooled (because) it is compulsory for the government to develop all the areas and give assistance to the people,” he said.

He claimed they jumped parties in pursuit of personal interests.

As such, Rahman said Sabah Umno agreed with PBS president Maximus Ongkili who, following Baranting’s departure, demanded that an elected representative should relinquish his or her seat so that a re-election could be called.

“This is the gentleman’s way. Let the people decide which party they want,” Rahman said.

He also said that becoming the opposition was not a dishonourable thing.

“In fact it’s a responsibility which they should be proud of because it is important for our democratic system, to be the check and balance of the government. If there is no opposition, the government can get to do whatever it pleases,” he said.