Warisan plays down ‘minor setback’ after losing second assemblyman in a year

Parti Warisan Sabah vice president Datuk Junz Wong described the departure of Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob who proclaimed himself an independent friendly to the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition as a ‘minor setback’ and said it would not change Warisan’s direction. — Picture by Julia Chan
Parti Warisan Sabah vice president Datuk Junz Wong described the departure of Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob who proclaimed himself an independent friendly to the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition as a ‘minor setback’ and said it would not change Warisan’s direction. — Picture by Julia Chan

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KOTA KINABALU, Oct 8 — Parti Warisan Sabah is not worried about its political position even after losing its second assemblyman this year.

Its vice president Datuk Junz Wong described the departure of Sindumin assemblyman Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob who proclaimed himself an independent friendly to the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition as a “minor setback” and said it would not change Warisan’s direction.

“The party started off with only two MPs and three assemblymen. His departure doesn’t change the party’s struggle or direction,” Wong told reporters here when contacted for comment.

“This is a minor setback that won’t change our plans and determination to form the next federal government at the next general election, which could be months away, given the political scenario today, and take back the Sabah government,” he added.

Warisan currently has only 28 seats in the 79-seat state assembly.

Wong, who is also Tanjung Aru assemblyman, wished Dr Yusof good luck.

Dr Yusof is the second assemblyman to quit Warisan this year after Sebatik assemblyman Hassan A Gani Pg Amir who left the party on February 25, citing development issues.

Warisan secretary-general Datuk Loretto Padua Jr said the party will have a meeting soon to decide if it would take legal action against Dr Yusof to compel him to vacate his seat, like what it did when Hassan left in February.

“For now, we take note of his resignation. That is his right as a Malaysian and an assemblyman.

“Whether we will take the same action on Yusof, let’s wait for the party’s decision,” Padua said.

The suit against Hassan was for failing to resign his state assembly seat upon his defection from the party. Warisan had sought a court decision to compel Hassan to honour his pre-signed resignation letter as the Sebatik assemblyman.

Dr Yusof, a former Dewan Rakyat deputy speaker and state minister under the Warisan-led state administration, announced his resignation from Warisan this morning to become an independent assemblyman supporting the federal and state governments.

The 66-year-old said he made the decision as it may be his “last chance” to serve his constituency but that he was currently unable to contribute well by being in the Opposition.

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