Dr Rundi not against Puncak Borneo MP joining PBB, but questions ethics of party hopping

Dr Rundi (centre) addressing some questions from the press.

By Karen Bong and Ling Hui

KUCHING, June 24: Parti Pesaka Bumiputera Bersatu (PBB) senior vice president Dato Sri Dr Stephen Rundi Utom is not against Puncak Borneo MP Datuk Willie Mongin from joining the party but questioned the political behaviour or ethics of party hopping.

However, he said PBB’s top leadership and supreme council would decide whether to accept Willie’s application to join the party.

“In a democracy, nobody can stop anybody (from switching parties). But we have to consult the grassroots level because the way they moved in the earlier part of their political life; that has to be pacified first.

“We cannot allow things like ‘it is hot here, so I move’. I have been in this party for many years, and this is my fifth term. I don’t think I will move anywhere. If I stop, I will stop here,” he said at a press conference after officiating at the Mardi AgroInvest 2022 programme at Pullman Hotel here today.

Dr Rundi, who is also Minister for Modernisation of Agriculture and Regional Development, was commenting about Willie’s application to join PBB as well as Lubok Antu MP Jugah Muyang, who had three months ago applied to join Parti Rakyat Sarawak (PRS) under the Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS) coalition.

He stressed that loyalty to the party and putting Sarawak and people’s interests first was crucial if these politicians wanted to be part of GPS.

“GPS has shown and got good support from Sarawakians, which cannot be jeopardised. We must remain strong and loyal to the pledges that we fight for Sarawak.

“Anybody who wants to fight for Sarawak, they will be my and our friend,” he added.

Willie, who is also Federal Deputy Minister of Plantation Industries and Commodities, confirmed on June 20 that he had applied to join PBB a few months back.

He was a former member of Parti Keadilan Rakyat (PKR) before joining Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu).

Meanwhile, Jugah yesterday (June 23) admitted that he has rejected the invitation to join Parti Bangsa Malaysia (PBM) as he is firm with his principle of supporting a Sarawak-based party.

He told a national news portal that he has pledged his support for a local party under GPS and will leave it to the top leadership of PRS to decide on his application.

He added that he had chosen PRS because the Lubok Antu parliamentary constituency is a traditional seat for the party and thus hoped to continue defending the seat in the 15th General Election (GE15).

In the last GE14, Jugah had won the Lubok Antu seat with a majority of 1,059 as an Independent candidate.

He was also a former PKR member before leaving the party in June 2020 and became an independent MP until today. — DayakDaily