In plot twist, Johor PKR’s state lawmaker exits party to support new coalition govt

Johor’s Pemanis state assemblyman Dr Chong Fat Full said his decision to quit PKR was made after taking into consideration the views of family, friends and supporters, especially those in his constituency. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor’s Pemanis state assemblyman Dr Chong Fat Full said his decision to quit PKR was made after taking into consideration the views of family, friends and supporters, especially those in his constituency. — Picture by Ben Tan

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ISKANDAR PUTERI, March 4 — Johor’s Pemanis state lawmaker Dr Chong Fat Full has today announced his exit from PKR to become an independent assemblyman as well as his support for the state government’s new Gabungan Baharu coalition.

Dr Chong said his decision to quit PKR was made this morning after taking into consideration the views of family, friends and supporters, especially those in the Pemanis state constituency.

“I hereby declare that I have quit PKR to be an independent assemblyman and support the new coalition under Datuk Hasni.

“I am a professional and will continue to be a professional. In today’s unstable political climate, it is not easy to make this decision, especially since I have been a part of PKR for a long time,” said Dr Chong.

His announcement was made at a press conference chaired by newly minted Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad at the Johor Mentri Besar’s Office in Kota Iskandar here today.

This latest move will see Dr Chong, who was said to have been aligned with Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali, return to his earlier support for the new state coalition consisting of Umno, Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu), MIC and PAS.

It is highly expected that Dr Chong, a dentist by profession, will also be offered a Johor exco position in the proposed 10-member line-up as he is the only ethnic Chinese elected representative who supports the new coalition.

Last Thursday night, Dr Chong was seen to have been in support of the Pakatan Harapan (PH) coalition as its latest addition. Prior to that, he was reported to have supported the new coalition.

Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad thanks Pemanis state assemblyman Dr Chong Fat Full (centre) for supporting the new Gabungan Baharu state government at the Johor Mentri Besar's Office March 4, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan
Johor Mentri Besar Datuk Hasni Mohammad thanks Pemanis state assemblyman Dr Chong Fat Full (centre) for supporting the new Gabungan Baharu state government at the Johor Mentri Besar's Office March 4, 2020. — Picture by Ben Tan

When asked if he was under pressure to show his support for the new Gabungan Baharu coalition, Dr Chong insisted that his decision was made for the well-being of the people of Johor.

“I did not accept any offers or posts.

“I entered politics because I wanted a platform to serve the people. If I were a dentist, I would only serve 20,000 people. But as an elected representative I can serve more people,” said Dr Chong, who has been a dentist for the past 30 years.

On any pending penalties he may face in light of his exit from PKR, which is a component party under PH, Dr Chong expressed his uncertainty.

He was unsure if there will be payments made to PKR based on the agreement between all of the party’s assemblymen and MPs when they were selected as candidates under PH in the 14th general election (GE14) back in 2018.

Yesterday, it was reported that Melaka’s Rembia assemblyman Datuk Muhammad Jailani Khamis must settle a payment of RM10 million for going against the agreement of standing as a PKR candidate in the last general election.

However, Muhammad Jailani said the matter of him having to settle the payment did not arise as he had not left the party as claimed.

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