CROSS-OVER ....Umno is rumoured to have 'engaged' Penampang MP Darrel Leiking for a possible cross-over.
By : FMT STAFF
KOTA KINABALU: Newly elected Penampang parliamentarian Darrel Leiking, from PKR, has finally come out to refute rumours that he is in negotiations with Umno.
“The rumour is designed to question my dignity and to tarnish my name.
“For the record, the betrayal of trust of the people is more heinous than crime of murder.
“These are lies purposely spread to confuse the public,” said Leiking who stood and won the Penampang seat on a Pakatan Rakyat-PKR ticket.
In the days after the May 5 general election, whispers emerged that Umno was ‘engaging’ with Leiking and Moyog PKR assemblyman Terence Siambun.
Both Leiking and Siambun were said to have been “in talks” with Penampang Umno division chief John Ambrose for a possible cross-over.
But yesterday Leiking, fed-up with the “many calls and texts from family members and supporters” demanding to know if the speculations were true, stressed that they were “lies” and the work of people out to “discredit” his surprising win.
Leiking beat Sabah Barisan Nasional ‘warlord’ Bernard Dompok by over a 10,000 vote majority.
Pakatan also wrested the two state constituencies – Moyog and Kapayan. Siambun grabbed the Moyog state seat from BN’s Philip Lasimbang by a 1,682 vote majority.
DAP’s Edwin Bosi took the Kepayan seat. He polled 13,020 against BN’s Edward Khoo who garnered 5,733 votes
The GE13 saw Pakatan win three parliamentary and 10 state seats, making unprecedented inroads into Sabah.
The surprise victories brought into focus the KDMs increasing disdain for BN-styled politics and their leaders.
Dompok, a first term incumbent in Penampang parliamentary constituency, was considered a “good man” and the fact that he lost, and badly at that, was a “statement against BN, not against him”, said observers here.
Penampang much like Keningau, Kota Marudu, Tuaran and Ranau are KadazanDusunMurut (KDM) heartland and predominantly Christian turf.
What is now increasingly significant in Sabah is the growing anti-BN sentiment among KDMs and other first generation immigrants.
In all 26 parliamentary seats (including Labuan), BN managed to garner just over half the number of electorate, perhaps reflecting its dwindling appeal compared to its performance in 2008.
Despite winning only three parliamentary seats in Sabah (Kota Kinabalu, Sandakan and Penampang), the 36% electorate support for Pakatan showed that Sabahans have begun to accept the need for a strong opposition at national level.
This is also shown in their rejection of state-based parties like State Reform party (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Peoples Party (SAPP) whose combined appeals only came up to slightly over 7% of the electorate.
Also noteworthy is the exceptionally high number of spoilt votes, making up to 2.25% of the total votes cast, surpasses the combined votes garnered by SAPP and independent candidates respectively.