Three Pakatan Harapan state assemblypersons have quit their respective parties in favour of a local Sabah party.
They are Lajim Ukin (Klias) and Terence Siambun (Moyog) who quit PKR, and Junz Wong (Likas) who exited DAP.
This was announced at a joint ceremony in Kota Kinabalu this afternoon.
They did not specify which local Sabah party they will join, but their exit comes amid an effort by former Umno vice president Shafie Apdal to set up a new Sabah-based party to challenge the ruling coalition.
Last month, Penampang MP Darell Leiking also quit PKR to join Shafie's party.
Other key figures who quit their respective parties include Sabah PKR secretary Maijol Mahap, Sabah PKR Wanita chief Johair Matlani and Sabah DAP deputy chief Joan Goh Penn Nee.
Lajim, who was also chief of Sabah PKR, said the decision was made with a heavy heart.
"This was because my colleagues and I had worked hard to lead PKR in Sabah to its best level.
"I have led for around three years and when I took over the leadership, PKR had around 40,000 members.
"Today, it's the second highest in the country at 90,000," he said.
Desire for local party
However, Lajim said Sabah leaders needed to listen to Sabahans' desire for a local party, using the Sarawak election in May as example.
"In the Sarawak election, local parties won big, while PKR only defended its three seats while DAP lost half of the seats they captured in the prior election. Local parties such as PBB, PRS, SUPP and SPDP were the heroes.”
Even though they were part of BN, Sarawak chief minister Adenan Satem's firmness inspired the confidence of Sarawakians that allowed them to win big.
"In Sabah, we hear the same complaints as in Sarawak. They too, hope for local parties to lead them and restore the rights of Sabahans as it was, when the Malaysian Federation was formed in 1963," he said.
Lajim said this movement is prepared to work with any other party or group to oust BN, and restore the rights of Sabahans.
"This movement, joined by (former) PKR and DAP leaders, will shake up the political landscape of Sabah," said Lajim, who took with him at least 11 PKR divisions.
Meanwhile, the Borneo Post quoted DAP's Wong as saying that his decision to quit the party was not made lightly.
Wong said he mulled over the decision for a few months, and concluded that a Sabah-based party was the best option.
"The time has come for us to demand our rights through a local party, through the efforts of 'anak Sabah'," he was quoted as saying.