KOTA KINABALU (Nov 20): Allegations of member pinching between political parties in Sabah is nothing new as the accusations have been thrown around ever since politics started in the state.
Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) secretary general Datuk Seri Panglima Masidi Manjun said that the allegations were nothing new in Sabah’s politics.
“We have been hearing these accusations for years and it is the same story. But to me the allegation of party members being ‘stolen’ is something that is difficult to swallow as it can only happen if the individual switches party willingly.
“Humans can think for themselves and they would not simply allow themselves to be ‘stolen’ and taken to join another party unless they do it at their own free will,” he said.
Masidi who is Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (Gagasan Rakyat) deputy president, said this when asked to comment on Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) vice president Datuk Ruslan Muharam’s allegations that certain parties within GRS have been pinching members of component parties.
Ruslan said that the action must be stopped as it clearly disrespects the spirit of camaraderie and could lead to divisions within the GRS.
He alleged that these actions also involved attempts to “bribe” members of other parties, especially branch leaders, by offering positions to attract them.
Ruslan said that it is crucial to put a stop to any act of stealing members from coalition partners and focus instead on gaining the support of individuals who are not members of any party or members of opposing parties.
Masidi who was met by reporters after witnessing the handing over of Maktab Rendah Sains MARA (MRSM) Ranau from Petronas to MARA here on Monday, pointed out that the allegation is not something new to him as it has been around ever since politics existed in Malaysia.
To the question of overlapping party memberships, he said this situation is also not uncommon in Sabah.
“In Sabah, we all know that some individuals who are leaders of a certain party would show support for that party by displaying its flag but when the leaders of another party comes to visit the following week, the same person would display the flag of that party instead.
“I don’t know what the person’s motivation is but for sure its not something that is shocking,” he said, adding that he does not think it would cause division in the party and to him, it is something that is normal.