Lahad Datu Member of Parliament (MP) and Segama state assemblyman Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi has quit Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) to become an independent representative.
Mohamaddin, 64, said the lack of development in both Lahad Datu and Segama had prompted him to leave Warisan.
He said he could focus on development by becoming an independent representative that is friendly to the Sabah state government but would remain a “purely” independent representative at the federal level.
I feel that if I remain in the Opposition, Segama will not progress. There are four more years to go to the next state election and there is zero development in this area; not even a public toilet. It’s the same in Lahad Datu.
“Whenever I returned to the constituency, voters would ask about development. They wonder when Segama can have a sub-district office as it has plantations and oil palm mills which contribute a lot of revenue to Lahad Datu,” he told a press conference today.
Following Mohamaddin’s resignation, Warisan is now left with seven MPs and 19 state assemblymen in Sabah.
In the 14th general election in 2018, Mohamaddin won the Lahad Datu seat, then known as Silam, with a 6,401-vote majority in a four-cornered fight while in the 16th Sabah state election last year he won Segama with a 2,168-vote majority in an eight-cornered contest.
Mohamaddin, a former Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister, said although he had decided to be a purely independent MP, he would support any federal government effort that can benefit the people.
“If my one vote as an independent MP can help determine a decision for the interests of the people and country, I would be glad to vote and support the federal government effort concerned.
“It is my responsibility as an elected representative to make a success of any government effort for the good of the country and people,” he added.
Mohamaddin said he was leaving Warisan of his own free will and was not “bought” or offered any reward for doing so.
He said he had done his part for Warisan and thanked party president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal for bringing him into the party.
“We won one parliamentary seat (Lahad Datu) and four state seats (Segama, Tunku, Silam and Kunak in Lahad Datu constituency) last year (Sabah state election). This means Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie did not lose by bringing us into Warisan and I’m thankful for having contributed many seats,” he said.
Asked if he had discussed with Mohd Shafie or sent a letter on his resignation, Mohamaddin said he had made all the necessary preparations.
Asked on the possibility of Warisan taking legal action against him, he said: “I have prepared everything. Just a matter of time; let’s see how it goes.”
He said he was not sure how his move would affect Warisan’s strength in Lahad Datu.