Party hoppers have no dignity? Umno took them in too, Kiandee tells Bung

Kiandee had last Friday joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) along with three other Sabah ex-Umno MPs. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon
Kiandee had last Friday joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) along with three other Sabah ex-Umno MPs. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KUALA LUMPUR, March 21 — Pakatan Harapan’s (PH) Beluran MP Datuk Seri Ronald Kiandee today cut Datuk Bung Moktar Radin down to size after the Kinabatangan MP accused him and others of having no dignity when they recently crossed over to the ruling coalition.

Debating the King’s Address today, Kiandee reminded Bung of Umno’s own history where it had openly embraced party hoppers from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and also in Perak, which led to a state constitutional crisis in 2009.

“Actually, there is nothing dishonourable about being on this side,” the former Umno MP said.

“I am of the opinion that the remark — that those of us who are here have no honour and are disgusting, as how Kinabatangan described yesterday — is a political statement which came out because of Kinabatangan’s euphoria when debating.

“I am confident that Kinabatangan himself is aware, understands and has paid heed to Sabah’s (political) history. In 1994, the BN-Umno government led by Umno, inherited some of those who party-hopped from PBS to Umno and supported BN, till the BN-Umno govenrment was formed in 1994.

“That’s why when he said we don’t have dignity, I take it as a political statement, because Kinabatangan knows that Umno too had taken in those who party hopped into their government, until 2018,” Kiandee said.

A smiling Kiandee then weighed in on another one of Bung’s remarks, in which the latter expressed confidence that voters will reject party hoppers in the 15th general election, labelling it as another political statement.

He then pointed out two Sabah assemblymen from Klias and Kemabong, who despite being party hoppers, continued to win elections numerous times, on Umno tickets.

“So when you say we will be wiped out in the 15th general election, that too is a political statement made by Kinabatangan,” Kiandee said.

He then called on his former party members to do some “soul-searching” and self-reflection as to why so many Sabah lawmakers dumped Umno.

“If Beluran alone leaves the party, maybe it can be viewed as personal reason, but if most left — as my friend from Kudat says ‘mass migration’ — then it needs a soul-searching. A self-reflection as to why so many among the Sabah lawmakers left,” he added.

In debating the King’s Address yesterday, Bung in a fiery speech, called for an anti-hopping law to be enforced immediately.

He also labelled his former party comrades as having no integrity and strength in their struggle, claiming that Sabah Umno still remains strong despite the mass defections in December.

Bung also vowed that BN will recapture Sabah in the next election.

Kiandee today also reminded Bung of a court precedent in 1992 (Kelantan State Legislative Assembly vs Nordin Salleh) whereby the then Supreme Court (now Federal Court) concluded that an amendment to the state constitution to prohibit party-hopping was inconsistent with Article 10(1)(c) of the Federal Constitution, which allows freedom of association.

“When it is said that an anti-hopping law is needed and has to be hastened because there is rampant party hopping including those in front of me, many are here, that too I feel is a statement that came because of anger and ill feelings,” Kiandee added.

At the end of his speech, BN’s Pontian MP Datuk Ahmad Maslan stood and reminded Kiandee of Umno’s bid to sue 30 of its lawmakers who had switched sides.

“So Beluran and other friends, get ready to be served,” Ahmad said.

Kiandee had last Friday joined Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) along with three other Sabah ex-Umno MPs.

He had quit to become an independent lawmaker last December.