Chong gesticulate as he speaks with the Bernama journalist at his house recently. Photo: Bernama

KOTA KINABALU: ‘Frogs’ (party-hoppers) will cease to exist in Sabah if the political parties were firm on rejecting the individuals who tried to switch allegiance after winning the people’s mandate in the state election, Sabah veteran politician Tan Sri Chong Kah Kiat said.

Rather than slaying the frogs alone, he said the parties that accepted them should also be held responsible in causing the culture of ‘frogging’ to be rampant to the extent of jeopardising the position of the state government.

“Party-hopping will not occur if no party accepted those party-hoppers,” the 72-year-old Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) life honorary president told Bernama.

Chong, who had also served as the 13th Sabah Chief Minister from 2001 to 2003 under the state’s unique rotation system said he believed that “to serve the people better” was merely an excuse used by those party-hoppers to achieve their personal agenda.

Hence, he said both the political parties and individuals involved should be held responsible for their unprincipled action.

He said one of the reasons he quit politics was because he was disappointed to see dishonest and unprincipled attitude of experienced and highly-educated political leaders jumping to other parties for support.

Chong, 72, disappeared from the Sabah political radar for about 13 years after stepping down from the Deputy Chief Minister’s post in 2007. 

He made a comeback in this year’s state election by contesting on his party’s ticket against nine other candidates for the Inanam state seat.

According to Chong, the people gave their mandate to the representatives with the hope that that the latter will do their level best ensure the wellbeing of their constituents.

Without integrity and strong principles, the representatives will not be able to discharge their duties well in improving the people’s standard of living, let alone in being a role model to the younger generations, he said.

Chong said LDP candidates are upholding the ‘walk the talk’ principle and every single one of them, if given the mandate, would try to deliver what they promised.

“Whether you believe LDP or not, it’s your rights as the voters, but we only ask you to remember that LDP will walk the talk,” he said.

He said in the state election on Sept 26, LDP is contesting without the cooperation of other parties to fight for the people’s issues more effectively, especially involving illegal immigrants, rural development, investment, employment, and improving the socio-economic status of the people.

When asked whether he was prepared to return to the Office of the Chief Minister if his party were able to form the new government, he said it was normal for a leader to be prepared for any situation.

“Yes, I’m prepared, but I leave it to the people to choose their own leader,” he said.

LDP is contesting in 46 out of the 73 seats contested in the state election. – Bernama