KOTA KINABALU, Feb 15 — At least 100,000 former Sabah Umno members have already applied join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM) with more to come, said former Umno leader Datuk Ronald Kiandee today.
The Beluran MP said that he and other former Umno lawmakers were ready for the national party to set up in Sabah, and will be able to open 25 divisions as soon as the party becomes official here.
“Except for one — we are all moving together,” he said referring to the five MPs and eight assemblymen from Umno who left the party en masse last December 12, along with two senators and 21 division chiefs.
A ninth assemblyman — Tempasuk’s Datuk Musbah Jamli — joined Parti Warisan Sabah in January.
Kiandee said that the move for PPBM to enter Sabah was expected and a positive move for Sabahans.
“It is good for Sabah as they will be another political option for the people,” he said.
Former Sabah Umno state secretary Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said that the group of independents would hold a meeting with Sulaman assemblyman Datuk Hajiji Noor, who was currently abroad performing the Umrah pilgrimage.
“We will have a meeting after his return. He is only expected to return after February 23,” said the Karanaan assemblyman.
Meanwhile, Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah president Datuk Lajim Ukin also lauded the move, saying that PPBM was much needed in Sabah as an option for Bumiputera Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
“We welcome their entry. I believe there will be less politicking after PPBM is here and more work,” he said.
Lajim is one of the local leaders who has been lobbying to bring PPBM to Sabah.