KOTA KINABALU: Parti Warisan has been dealt another blow with its assemblyman for Kukusan, Rina Jainal, quitting the party to join the obscure Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (PHRS).

Rina is the sixth assemblyman to quit Warisan after the September 2020 state election.

She won the seat with a mere 10-vote majority of 2,834 votes against her nearest rival Chaya Sulaiman of Umno in a seven-cornered fight in that election.

At a press conference yesterday, she announced her resignation from all her positions, including as Warisan women’s youth wing (Wirawati) deputy youth chief and Kalabakan Wirawati chief, with immediate effect.

“With a heavy heart, I wish to announce that I quit Parti Warisan with immediate effect and now join Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah,” she said.

She said the size of a party is irrelevant since what is important is her political work and service to her supporters and constituents.

What mattered most, she added, was whether the party could focus on serving the grassroots or whether it was busy with power grabbing.

“I feel that PHRS’ struggles since the leadership of the late Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin, and now Tan Sri Liew Yun Fah, is right and it is a party that focuses fully on serving the people, especially in Tawau,” she said.

Rina said the decision to quit Warisan and join the government-friendly PHRS was her own.

“PHRS is a party that really works for the people and focuses on serving the people, specifically in Tawau,” she added.

She said the struggle and objectives in Warisan were the same but PHRS was more focused on what she aimed to do for her constituency.

Liew, who is PHRS president, said the party will be much stronger with Rina in it.

He added that it submitted its application to join the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition last month.

“We are attracted to GRS’ leadership and how the leaders within the coalition do their job for the people and the state, and we hope we will be accepted into the fold,” he said.

He said PHRS may consider appointing Rina to its Wanita chief and deputy president’s post if all party leaders and members approve.

“I need a deputy who can focus on working for the rakyat first, so I hope everyone can support her.”

Liew, a former Gerakan vice-president and one-term Merotai assemblyman in 2004, said PHRS would not turn down any offer to stand in any seat when the election is called.

It did not contest any seats in Sabah’s state election in 2020, but had contested 26 seats in the 2018 polls. It lost in all seats it contested.

Warisan, which won 23 seats in the 2020 polls, now has 18 seats in the 79-seat state legislative assembly, after its Bugaya state assemblyman Manis Muka Darah died, six assemblymen, including Rina, quit the party and two representatives from DAP joined.