Sabah DAP withdraws from signing MoU with state govt

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Sabah DAP has withdrawn from the Sabah Reform Agenda after less than a month the state Pakatan Harapan proposed the state-level memorandum of understanding (MoU) to the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government.

The decision to withdraw from all talks and signing of any document with the ruling government was made by the Sabah DAP council two weeks ago, said state DAP secretary Phoong Jin Zhe.

“We made a unanimous decision that we will not enter into any form of collaboration, reform agenda, or MoU with the state government.

“The question was whether Sabah DAP should join Sabah Pakatan Harapan to enter the MoU discussions. The meeting did not even discuss the signing of the MoU,” he told the media yesterday.

Such an agreement with the GRS government was not needed as the ruling coalition already has a majority in the state legislative assembly, he was quoted as saying by Free Malaysia Today.

“So, there’s no need for us to (sign any MoU) in the name of political stability.

“It’s totally different from the situation at the federal level when Ismail Sabri Yaakob was named prime minister three months ago,” Phoong added.

The Luyang assemblyperson acknowledged that Sabah DAP was not the one that initiated the reform agenda with GRS.

Phoong said the party has informed the state opposition coalition of its decision.

On Nov 15, Sabah Harapan submitted the MoU, which comprised a seven-point reform agenda to Chief Minister Hajiji Mohd Noor. The agenda also included the reforms Harapan said were needed to be implemented in the state legislative assembly to enable more progressive democratic governance and more effective checks and balances.

There had been mixed reactions within Sabah DAP on the planned MoU. Its chief Frankie Poon did not believe the MoU would backfire on the opposition while Sri Tanjong assemblyperson Justin Wong urged Sabah DAP to drop it or lose the people’s support.

Sabah Pakatan Harapan chairperson Christina Liew expressed her surprise over the state DAP’s withdrawal from the MoU.

“I cannot answer outright over this matter. We have not been informed by them (Sabah DAP) that they have withdrawn from the planned Sabah government-opposition MoU.

“Even the Sabah Harapan secretary was not informed of this,” Liew was quoted as saying by The Vibes.

The Sabah PKR chief said she will look into the matter.

“I will have to find out more, I can’t answer you. Actually, I am quite surprised,” she added.