KOTA KINABALU: Two assemblymen from Upko today announced their resignations, saying they were not in support of Sabah being in opposition to the Perikatan Nasional federal government.
Upko Sugut assemblyman James Ratib and Upko Kuala Penyu assemblyman Limus Jury also relinquished their party positions, saying they were now independents.
Jury was Upko’s vice-president while Ratib, who had defected from Sabah Umno in the wake of the 14th general election in 2018, was a member of the Supreme Council.
Recent political developments at the federal level had seen the Warisan-led Sabah government in opposition to Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin’s Perikatan Nasional (PN) coalition.
“Because of this, it is best for me to leave Upko which is one of the ruling parties in Sabah for the sake of the development and benefit of my constituency,” Ratib said in a press conference here.
Also present was PBS vice-president Johnny Mositun.
When asked if they would support former chief minister Musa Aman in making a comeback, Ratib said he would do so if the rest of the assemblymen did as well.
Limus meanwhile said he had lost confidence in the Upko leadership which had followed Warisan’s stand against PN.
Today’s resignations see the number of seats among ruling parties Upko, Warisan, PKR and DAP reduced to 45.
The number of Upko seats alone meanwhile has dropped from five to three, including nominated rep Wilfred Madius Tangau.
The state opposition parties – Sabah STAR, PBS and Umno – have 19 seats.
Party not badly affected by resignations, says Tangau
Upko president Wilfred Madius Tangau said the party remained strong although two of its assemblymen left the party. He said Upko would continue to play an important role as a partner of the Sabah coalition government.
“We respect their decision to leave Upko as announced. For the time being, we have not received any official or written notice. After contacting our leaders on the ground, Upko is not very badly affected,” he said in a statement here today.
Tangau said Beaufort division deputy head, Nelson W Angang who is also party secretary-general would be acting division chief while Beluran Upko would stay under the leadership of youth chief, Felix Joseph Saang , as James did not hold any division post.
“Whatever it is, I would be calling for an Upko supreme council emergency meeting in a day or two,” he added.
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