After exodus, ex-Umno Sabah leaders bid to join PPBM en masse?

Datuk Hajiji Noor (fourth from left) is seen holding what appears to be a PPBM membership form in this undated picture. — Picture via social media
Datuk Hajiji Noor (fourth from left) is seen holding what appears to be a PPBM membership form in this undated picture. — Picture via social media

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KOTA KINABALU, Dec 18 — Photos of ex-Umno Sabah leaders posing with Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) papers have emerged on social media and set tongues wagging hours after Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said the door to his party is open to all, even without a formal chapter in the north Borneo state.

Circulating through Whatsapp and other social media platforms, the former state chief, Datuk Hajiji Noor, is seen holding what appears to be a membership form bearing PPBM’s logo while other ex-Umno leaders give the thumbs up.

In another photo, Hajiji is seen holding up the same document with former Kota Kinabalu Umno chairman Datuk Faizal Diego.

It is not known where and when the photos were taken, but former Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Masidi Manjun, who was among those in the group photo, did not deny these were fake.

“Suffice to say we have not joined PPBM. We are still independents,” the Karanan assemblyman told Malay Mail when contacted.

Masidi did not respond when asked if the document Hajiji was holding was the PPBM membership application form.

Hajiji and others could not be reached for comments.


Others in the photo include Beaufort MP Datuk Azizah Dun, Klias assemblyman Datuk Isnin Aliasnih, Apas assemblyman Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan and other division chiefs, including Sandakan’s Datuk Awang Kadin.

Last Wednesday, nine assemblyman, four MPs and 21 division chiefs from Umno left the party, citing disappointment with the party’s political direction and no confidence in its leadership.

Although the elected representatives said they would remain as independents until a suitable political vehicle came along, they were widely speculated to join either PPBM, who does not have a presence in Sabah, or Parti Warisan Sabah.

However, Parti Warisan Sabah’s deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking has said that they hoped the national party would honour their agreement to stay out of the state.

Although not technically a part of the federal government, Warisan is aligned with the four-party Pakatan Harapan coalition.

If the ex-Umno leaders join PPBM, it is feared that Sabah could end up in a situation whereby some of its elected leaders are part of the national government but not the state government.

Yesterday, Dr Mahathir, who is PPBM chairman, told reporters his party will not open a chapter in Sabah.

“No, we are not going to form any party in Sabah but Sabahans can join the party,” he said.


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