Calling Umno a 'sinking ship', Sabah division chief says he wants out

Kudat Umno chief Datuk Guraman Lolong says he is willing to leave the party. — Picture by Julia Chan
Kudat Umno chief Datuk Guraman Lolong says he is willing to leave the party. — Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, Dec 11 — The jury is still out on whether Sabah Umno will face an exodus of leaders, but at least one division chief has made up his mind.

Kudat division chief Datuk Guraman Lolong said he will support jumping over to a new vessel to leave the “sinking ship” that is Umno.

“I will be frank — I will follow the new ship to PPBM,” he said, using the acronym for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

“The reason is simple, I like being part of the government rather than the Opposition. You cannot help the people as part of the Opposition,” he said when met at the Hilton hotel here before the State Umno meeting.

Guraman said that some 30 per cent of his members had abandoned the party for Parti Warisan Sabah and he was keen to jump ship before it “totally sinks”.

“Every day, more people leave. If it’s just me in the party, then I cannot do anything to help,” he said.

Guraman said he liked how the current Malaysian government was running and said it seems to be growing stronger by the day.

The fact that PPBM does not exist in Sabah does not thwart his enthusiasm.

“If they can set up in Sarawak then they can definitely come here too. People from there have been coming here so it looks hopeful,” he said.

When asked why PPBM and not Parti Warisan Sabah, he said he prefers a national party over a local party and also that PPBM carries many similarities to Umno.

“I want to be on a big ship, not a small one,” he said with a laugh.

Guraman said that he did not have any major issues with Umno, except that too many people were leaving and he had to seize the moment and leave or be left behind.

Rumours are now rife that most of the party, including four out of the remaining five MPs, are about to leave, along with the major players in the State committee.

The current meeting is to decide on the party’s fate — whether to leave and where to go collectively or individually.

Some have expressed inclination towards the local Gabungan Bersatu Sabah alliance while others prefer to be aligned with the Pakatan Harapan federal government.