KOTA KINABALU, Oct 8 ― Sindumin assemblyman Dr Yusof Yacob announced his resignation from Parti Warisan Sabah today, ending rumours about his departure that had been rife since last weekend.
The 66-year-old who was the Opposition party’s information chief declared himself an independent lawmaker supportive of the federal and state governments.
“My decision is a personal choice, without any influence from anyone. I also have no issues with Warisan.
“My decision is to work with government departments and agencies so I can contribute to Sindumin. I don’t want to waste time politicking or spouting rhetoric. I want to focus on work with what little time I have left,” he said in a press conference here.
Dr Yusof, a veteran politician was the state education and innovation minister when Warisan was in control of Sabah prior to last year’s snap election.
He said he had struggled to contribute to his constituency as an Opposition representative without links to government bodies.
“In Warisan, I cannot see officers and the relevant authorities. Even if I do, they are very ‘shy’. I am old, I have no time left with the elections coming soon, this may be my last chance to serve and I don’t want to waste time screaming and shouting to no avail.
“There is a lot to be done for the people in Sipitang and as an Opposition (lawmaker) I am unable to contribute,” he said.
Dr Yusof said he had spoken with Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal, who understood his stance and had no objections.
“I discussed the matter with him as a friend. There is no conflict. This is just my personal direction. Politics is not static, it is dynamic, and you can be enemies one day and allies the next,” he said.
He said he acted alone and had no intention of bringing his supporters with him but there are those who choose to do so on their own free will.
Asked whether he was joining another party, Dr Yusof said he is to remain an independent for now, so he can work with anyone.
“I’m very clear. I am independent. I can go anywhere, I can meet anybody, I choose to be an independent because I want a united Sabah for the sake of the state and development. We have fought for so long already, maybe now is the time to fight together,” he said.
Dr Yusof was a former Deputy Dewan Rakyat Speaker and former Sipitang MP for Umno up to 2008. He left politics after that but reemerged 10 years later to stand as Sindumin assemblyman for Warisan.
He is the second Warisan assemblyman to quit following the September state election last year, after Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir.
Warisan and its allies in Pakatan Harapan now have 28 members in the 79-seat state assembly.