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Monday, September 30, 2019

Number of frogs in Sabah increasing by leaps and bounds

It saddens me to note that the political landscape in Sabah is once again marred by defections, a scene which led to the downfall of Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) in the 1990s and Barisan Nasional in the not so distant past.
Just two days ago, Abdul Rahman Kongkawang, a first-term assemblyman for Labuk, announced his departure from PBS, after being a member for almost 30 years.
This is the second defection from PBS to Warisan after Tandek assemblyman Anita Baranting quit the party last March.
PBS president Maximus Ongkili reportedly criticised Warisan for “pinching” another of its assemblyman, accusing the party of being insecure and fearing the opposition.
Ongkili also urged Rahman Kongkawan to do the honourable thing by resigning from his Labuk seat and seeking a new mandate from the people.
In response, Warisan secretary-general Loretta Padua was quoted as saying Ongkili should blame himself for Rahman Kongkawang leaving PBS, for he was not able to convince him to remain with the party and continue with its struggle.
Now allegations have surfaced in social media that a broker, who shall remain unnamed, may have had a hand in orchestrating the defection in return for monetary and political rewards.
Political tirades and conspiracy theories aside, truth or fiction, as a voter I am frankly nauseated by the whole thing!
This recent episode has confirmed my suspicion that Sabah politicians are for the most part, fair-weather politicians. Most do not have the intestinal fortitude or resolve to stay the course when the sea turns choppy.
When the going gets rough, most can be coaxed to abandon ship and set sail on a new one laden with treasure chests, fair maidens and a promise of better things to come.
As a Sabahan, it is disheartening to stumble upon social media comments like “Frogging is normal in Sabah”, “It‘s just a matter of time before they jump” and the best one yet, “Oh someone jump again ah? Must be in Sabah”.
Such off-colour remarks are off-putting and cringe-worthy.
To the powers that be, consolidating your base and strengthening your party is one thing, but luring others to join through manipulation and political bribes go against the very foundation of the so-called ‘Malaysia Baru’.
To our opposition YBs, life is not a bed of roses and neither will your political career always be smelling like them.
The weather will turn and the seas will get rough. It is during these times that opposition leaders must toss out the lifebuoys and not let their own drown.
As moronic as this sounds, there has to be a collective responsibility to uphold certain principles and integrity where politics is concerned.
Politicians owe this to themselves and most of all, they owe this to us, the people.
Let us stay on the map for having the highest mountain in South East Asia and the greatest diving in Sipadan but not for serial party hopping.
Jeremiah Willows is an FMT reader.

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