KOTA KINABALU: The Lahad Datu Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) division chief has denied claims by Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi that he had sidelined the latter and his supporters.
Abdul Hakim Gulam Hassan said the accusations aimed at him by the Lahad Datu MP, who quit Bersatu on Tuesday (June 28), was baseless.
He said allegations that Mohamaddin was not given a role in the division was untrue as his duty was actually to help the people in his capacity as an elected representative no matter what.
“As a leader, we must view the problems faced by the people as a priority. So, in reality he already has a role to play and which he should fulfil,” he said, in a statement here on Wednesday (June 29).
“What other role does he want when he is not even able to fulfil his main role?” he added.
Mohamaddin, who is also a Segama assemblyman, had on Tuesday (June 28) announced his departure from Bersatu, just six months after joining the party on Nov 26.
He said he would become an independent supporting the state and Federal governments.
He had won the Lahad Datu MP and Segama state seats under Parti Warisan before quitting the party on Oct 30 last year to become an independent, shortly before joining Bersatu the following month.
Mohamaddin claimed that his decision to leave the party was due to the party not giving him any role to play despite having been with Bersatu for half a year.
He also said he and his supporters were sidelined by the Bersatu Lahad Datu division chief, adding they were not allowed to set up their own branches but instead were told to join 14 existing branches in the constituency.
In response, Abdul Hakim claimed not to know any promises or who made them to the former Federal tourism minister.
He said Mohamaddin should know as an experienced leader, who had been with several other parties previously like PBS, PKR and Parti Warisan, that a person needed to contest for a position in the party polls before he can assume a leadership role.
“I was still elected as the division chief in the last party election and it is my duty to oversee the division and the members.
“If he wanted to be the chief then he should have waited for the next election,” he said.
Abdul Hakim added that it was also unfair for Mohamaddin to want his people to replace the existing Bersatu political appointees while they were still serving in their respective capacities.
Meanwhile, he also rubbished claims from Mohamaddin that he was acting like the assemblyman despite losing in the previous state election.
He explained that despite not being a state representative and the allocation that comes with the role, he still tried to help the people in any way he could to resolve their issues.
“Is helping the people considered acting like an elected representative? He (Mohamaddin) has allocations as the MP and the assemblyman but how many times has he gone to the ground this year?”