KOTA KINABALU - Sabah Bersatu will continue to exist and function even after the mass exodus of its state chairman, assemblymen and division leaders, said Bersatu president and Perikatan Nasional (PN) chairman Muhyiddin Yassin on Sunday.
Bersatu’s Sabah chapter will now be led by Beluran MP Ronald Kiandee, said Tan Sri Muhyiddin a day after the MPs and assemblymen, led by Sabah Chief Minister Hajiji Noor, announced their departure.
Mr Muhyiddin said Datuk Seri Kiandee, who is also a Bersatu vice-president, will take over from Datuk Seri Hajiji.
“Bersatu in Sabah will continue to exist and function although Hajiji and his followers have announced their quitting of the party,” he said in a statement.
The former Malaysian prime minister said the state leadership, divisions and branches were set up by the Bersatu supreme council, and only the council had the authority under the party’s Constitution to decide their position and direction.
Mr Muhyiddin said Dr Kiandee would also be in charge of PN in Sabah until the restructuring of the state’s leadership has been decided by the Bersatu and PN supreme council members.
In expressing his disappointment in the leaders who left Bersatu in Sabah, he said they did not show loyalty to the party, which had given them high positions after the last state election in 2020. He added that they had won their positions under the PN banner.
“I believe those who are loyal to the party and its struggles will continue to stay on as Bersatu members, and as the component party of Perikatan at the federal level,” Mr Muhyiddin said.
As for the four Bersatu MPs from Sabah who had contested under the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) ticket in the recent 15th General Election, he said their positions in the party will be decided based on the anti-hopping law enshrined in the Federal Constitution.
The provisions of the law, which took effect on Oct 5, should pave the way for by-elections in the constituencies of those who quit their parties, but there is uncertainty over whether polls will be triggered as the four MPs have said they will stay with GRS.
Bersatu Sabah is in the GRS bloc that includes four other parties.
The anti-hopping law does not apply to the 14 assemblymen who left Sabah Bersatu as the state assembly has not enacted the law. THE STAR/ASIA NEWS NETWORK