Sabah DAP returns fire at PBS over Chinese voters support issue

Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin says PBS partnering with PN, which is an ally of PAS, is detrimental to the harmony in Sabah.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah DAP has shot back at PBS president Maximus Ongkili for suggesting that Chinese voters reconsider their support for the DAP and PKR in the state after the lack of Chinese leaders in the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government.

Ongkili, the Kota Marudu MP, had said Chinese voters’ support for GRS in last week’s state election was “disappointing” and it was about time to rethink their support to both parties, which are part of the Warisan Plus coalition.

However, Sabah DAP secretary Chan Foong Hin disagreed with Ongkili’s remarks, saying PBS should instead reconsider its position as a partner of Perikatan Nasional (PN), which is an ally of PAS.

According to Chan, who is Kota Kinabalu MP, Sabahans in general have rejected the Islamist party, alleging PAS’ “extremism” would be detrimental to the harmony in Sabah.

“For example, Dewan Ulama chief and Pasir Puteh MP Nik Muhammad Zawawi Salleh refused to apologise for the ‘distorted bible’ remark. He did not even apologise after receiving public backlash, especially from the Sabah Christian community,” he said in a statement here today.

“If PAS really had the confidence to have a representative in Sabah, why did the party not participate in the election? Because they know their logo and extreme politics are not welcomed in Sabah.

“To retain the harmonious relationship, PBS should reconsider support for PN, including PAS, instead of asking urban voters to pull back support from Warisan Plus.”

There has been speculation that a PAS member would be named as one of the six nominated assemblymen and later made a minister.

This was amplified after Barisan Nasional (BN) secretary-general Annuar Musa posted on Twitter that he expected PAS, a political ally in Muafakat Nasional, to be given a nominated assemblyman spot.

Deputy Chief Minister Jeffrey Kitingan had, however, earlier today advised the Sabahan public against believing that a PAS member would be made minister, saying it was fake news.

Meanwhile, Chan said Warisan Plus received tremendous support from urbanites across all ethnic groups.

“Greater Kota Kinabalu and Greater Sandakan have 11 and seven state seats respectively. Only Likas and Luyang have more than 50% Chinese voters while the rest are either mixed seats, Kadazan Dusun Murut (KDM) or Muslim-Bumiputera majority.

“Yet, Warisan Plus successfully defended eight out of the 11 Greater Kota Kinabalu state seats, losing only Karambunai and Tanjung Keramat.

“In Greater Sandakan, Warisan Plus gained five out of the seven state seats, losing only Sungai Manila and Sungai Sibuga,” he said.

Judging from the results, Chan said Warisan, PKR and DAP candidates had received the trust from the urbanites, not just from the Chinese but also from the KDM, Bajau and Suluk communities.