LABUAN MP Datuk Suhaili Abdul Rahman said his decision to support Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s administration will not mark the end of his political career.
Despite receiving a six-year suspension from Bersatu and being stripped of all party positions, Suhaili said he does not feel guilty in pledging his support to Anwar’s leadership for the sake of his constituents’ well-being.
“Do I feel guilty? Why should I? I did not betray the party as I am still loyal to the party. I did not abandon ship.
“But the ship abandoned me when the leadership decided to throw me out, suspending me for six years. So, which is which?” Suhaili was reported as saying by The Star today (Nov 13).
Suhaili claimed prior to his suspension that he had received “stronger support” in Labuan after explaining to Bersatu members in his division that he would remain with the party.
“Come next general election, I can contest under any logo, and God willing, I will win as I had done this for the sake of the people,” he added.
Suhaili maintained that he was not giving blind support to Anwar’s leadership and that there was no agreement “tying him up” with the Prime Minister.
“Fellow Perikatan Nasional (PN) MPs had been amicable towards me so far and no one had threatened me in any sort of way,” he pointed out.
Given how he was treated by Bersatu’s leadership, Suhaili said any further meetings with them would be unlikely.
“My suspension was their call as the party leadership. Who am I to question them?”
Suhaili further maintained that he was doing what was in the best interests of his constituents, who would now receive RM4 mil in annual allocations, in addition to other funds channelled on a quarterly basis with strict usage guidelines.
“I am only doing the right thing. I checked with my constituents a few months before I made the announcement.
“I told them that when 12 months are up from my elected date and if I have yet to receive the funds, I will support the government for the sake of the allocations.
“I cannot keep giving excuses of having no funds because I am in the opposition. In the first year, we could tell them, ‘Don’t worry, next year, we may be in the government. Please wait.’
“But after one year, do I repeat the same story?” the Labuan Bersatu division chief said.
Suhaili, who is also a Bersatu Supreme Council member, has rubbished claims that his allegiance to Anwar, in exchange for getting allocations, was a form of bribery.
“This is utter rubbish. How can it be bribery when I asked for allocations openly, in writing, on the day I declared that I would support the Prime Minister?
“The Prime Minister himself told PN to talk to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Fadillah Yusof on the allocations for constituencies under opposition MPs.
“The request for allocations was made officially, and the money channelled through official agencies,” added Suhaili.
On Oct 30, Suhaili declared his support for Anwar’s leadership, joining fellow Bersatu MPs from Gua Musang (Datuk Mohd Azizi Abu Naim), Kuala Kangsar (Datuk Iskandar Dzulkarnain Abdul Khalid) and Jeli (Zahari Kechik), who all cite the same reason: the well-being of their constituents.
Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin recently announced that Suhaili and Iskandar had been suspended from the party for six and four years respectively by the party’s disciplinary board committee, and that they had also been relieved of all positions in the party.
No disciplinary action has been announced against Mohd Azizi and Zahari at the time of writing. – Nov 13, 2023
Main pic credit: Bernama