KOTA KINABALU: Former state assemblyman for Inanam Kenny Chua has broken his silence with regard to his decision to part ways with the Warisan-led state government, saying he did it out of his loyalty to his former party PKR and its president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim.

In a statement today, Chua said he could not see himself being part of an administration in which Warisan is the dominant party after it had confirmed its support for former prime minister Tun Mahathir Mohamad and even announced its readiness to consider amending its constitution to allow him to join the local party.

“It would go against my principle to be part of a state government that was led by Warisan because this party had openly declared its support for Mahathir. It was even reported that it was ready to amend its constitution to welcome him into the party.

I’ve repeatedly said that as a PKR leader in Sabah, it was only right for me to stay loyal to my party president and threw my undivided support for him as the country’s next prime minister as what all Malaysians and Sabahans had been promised during the last general election.

“Due to Warisan’s support for Mahathir, I, as part of the state government then and as Sabah PKR Vice Chairman then, had constantly been asked by the common people in the streets and PKR supporters in Sabah alike to explain. I could understand the negative sentiments the majority of Sabahans harbour toward Mahathir until today for what he had done to the state and its people for so long,” he said.

Chua was one the 33 elected representatives and nominated assemblyman who decided to swicth sides and rally behind former Sabah Chief Minister Tan Sri Musa Aman in his bid to topple the Warisan-led state government.

The attempt however was foiled after Warisan, led by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, sought for the dissolution of the state legislative assembly to pave way for a snap state election.

Despite parting ways with the Warisan-led government out of loyalty for PKR and Anwar, Chua was sacked by his party for switching sides.

He strongly denied allegations that he had been offered huge sums of money to switch sides. “The relevant authorities can investigate me. They can check my bank accounts if they suspected that I had been offered millions of cash. But perhaps in all fairness, they should also call for investigation on those elected representatives who switched sides to help Warisan form the state government in 2018.”

Out of the 33, Chua was the only elected representative who was holding a ministerial position. He was then Sabah Assistant Finance Minister.

“I’ve been criticised for switching sides. But come to think about it, why would I ever want to jeaporside my position in the government if it had not been for things happening in government and local politics which I didn’t think were right? And the mother of all problems is the illegal immigrant and statelessness issue which I’ve repeatedly highlighted in the media even before I was an elected representative ” he said, vowing to reveal them to the public in due time.

“As the Assistant Finance Minister then, I can tell all Sabahans that our state government lacks the funds to develop the state. It’s critical for the state government to have money especially now when so many lives are suffering due to Covid-19 pandemic and the weak economy.

“So, the state needs funds from the federal government or else it would continue to bleed. Come the snap state election, the main issue will be about our economic survival; how we feed our families and how we can create opportunities to sustain our life. I’d ask Sabahans to ask Warisan and its partners these important questions. If they said the state has the funds, then ask them to show the money first before you even consider giving them another chance at governing Sabah,” he said.

Chua added there were few other reasons that led him decide to switch sides at the eleventh hour, one being the treatment of Warisan toward its partners, PKR, UPKO and DAP.

“Before even there was Warisan, we in PKR and DAP had been fighting against the goverment of the day at the time. After Warisan was formed, they came to us asking to be given the majority of the seats to contest in the last general election. And we sacrificed many of our traditional seats to them.

“But just ask any of the coalition partners, especially their grassroots members, if they thought Warisan had been fair to them. Don’t ask the party leaders. They would always say nice things. Ask their party members on the ground, those who have been in service as community leaders,” said Chua, adding he would want to see Warisan giving back as many seats to Sabah PKR to contest in the coming election as it has many qualified and potential candidates.

Thanking PKR and voters in Inanam for having given him the chance to serve over the past two years, Chua said he will continue to soldier on.

“Right from the start after I got elected, it’s been my intention to give my best service to the people of Inanam and Sabah in general. Given another chance, I’ll still continue to do my best. And I’ll want to make right what has been wrong in our current system,” he said.-pr/BNN