KOTA KINABALU, May 14, 2014: Independent Luyang Assemblyman Dr Hiew King Cheu has confirmed submitting his application to join Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), but is awaiting a response from the party leadership whether or not he would be accepted as a new member.
He admitted that his application was special as he was an elected state representative and therefore, required the consensus of PBRS and other Barisan Nasional (BN) components parties.
“It doesn’t matter how long they will take to discuss my application as I understand their concerns that I am already an elected people’s representative.
“But while they (PBRS) deliberate, I will continue the responsibility that was entrusted to me towards my constituency,” he told Bernama when contacted here yesterday.
Hiew, a former DAP state leader, said he submitted his application about two months ago after deciding that he should have a platform under the government in which he could fulfil his cause.
PBRS Secretary-General Dr Johnson Tee confirmed that Hiew had applied to become a PBRS member, but the party leadership had yet to discuss on the matter
Meanwhile, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) secretary general Datuk Johnny Mositun has reiterated his party’s stand against accepting defecting opposition assemblymen as Barisan Nasional members merely to boost its numbers in the state assembly.
“PBS has made its stand clear. It is enough that they remain ‘BN-friendly’ as they claim. There is no pressing need for BN to take these defectors into our ranks. We already have a comfortable two-thirds majority in the assembly,” he said in the wake of a report that PBRS, a BN component party, had accepted the application by Hiew into its ranks.
PBRS, led by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Tan Sri Joseph Kurup, presently has one member of parliament and one state assemblyman, and has shown interest in taking in several former opposition assemblymen to strengthen its ranks.
Hiew, who was reported to have said that he had been accepted as a member of PBRS, subsequently retracted his statement, claiming he had made no such announcement.
Mositun said while PBRS had the right to accept or reject applications for membership from opposition defectors, it was only proper to do so after reaching a consensus within the BN.
“That has been the BN policy all this time. No one BN party should disregard the views and feelings of its BN partners by acting arbitrarily. Overall unity and camaraderie within the BN must take precedence over individual party interests,” he said.
Mositun added the BN had to be careful when accepting defectors from the opposition into its own ranks.
“First, we must be sure of their sincerity and ability to contribute to the BN agenda effectively. Secondly, we must appreciate the mood and effect on the people of the constituencies they represent. Thirdly, what effect will it have on fellow BN parties who also have a stake in these constituencies. These are among the factors that PBRS, or any other BN component, must consider carefully before accepting opposition defectors into our ranks. The BN is not an individual party, it is a coalition of many parties, and the coalition’s interest must come first, always. That’s why the BN places emphasis on consensus,” he said.
On Hiew’s claim that he had not made the statement about having been accepted as a PBRS member, Mositun said it was unlikely.
“It doesn’t matter. Whatever Dr Hiew says, let the people judge. The people voted him in because he stood on a DAP ticket. He can’t stand on a DAP ticket in the next election, and he knows he has no chance of retaining the Luyang seat as an independent,” he said.
Mositun added Hiew’s only hope of survival in politics now was to be fielded as a BN candidate in the next general election.
“Hiew, along with the Matunggong and Kadamaian assemblymen, Jelani Hamdan and Jeremy Malajad, respectively, face a similar dilemma. That is why they are knocking on the doors of PBRS to become BN members through the back door,” he said.
Mositun also said Kurup should put an end to unhealthy speculations by resolving the matter once and for all with the state BN leadership and fellow component parties.
“All these speculations, claims and counter-claims, denials and accusations are not doing the state BN any good. I hope, as a fellow BN leader, Tan Sri Joseph Kurup will act wisely and act quickly in the BN spirit to put this issue to rest once and for all,” he said.
He added that PBS would lay claim to the seats that were allocated to it under the BN’s quota system and would not allow any other parties to contest in those areas even if the elected representative had joined the party concerned is interested.
source: The Borneo Post
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