Balung assemblyman to join PKR

Balung assemblyman Osman Jamal says his membership will have to be endorsed by PKR’s central executive committee. (Facebook pic)

KOTA KINABALU: Balung assemblyman Osman Jamal, who won the seat under the BN-Umno ticket, is joining PKR.

Speaking at his open house in Tawau, Osman said he had met PKR de facto leader Anwar Ibrahim and the party’s secretary-general before applying online and being accepted.

“However, my membership is still subject to approval by the party’s central executive committee (CEC).

“They will listen to comments from Sabah PKR, particularly the liaison chief and the secretary-general, before making their decision.”

Nevertheless, Osman expressed confidence that he would be confirmed as a member.

Osman was one of three Umno assemblymen who decided to jump to Chief Minister Shafie Apdal’s camp less than 24 hours after former chief minister Musa Aman was sworn in on May 10.

Osman’s candidacy in Balung was not without controversy after Umno members in the constituency rejected him on the basis that he is a parachute candidate because he is not a member of Tawau Umno.

He was the director of the Land and Survey Department for 15 years before transferring to the Sabah Economic Planning Unit (EPU).

Osman is also the president of the Persatuan Komuniti Bugis Sabah and publicly rebuked Pakatan Harapan chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad last year for comparing former prime minister Najib Razak to a Bugis pirate.

The May 9 election marked his first foray into politics and he successfully defended the Balung seat for BN-Umno, winning with a majority of 174 votes against Parti Warisan Sabah candidate Andi Rus Diana Andi Paladjareng.

Earlier today, Sabah PKR chairperson Christina Liew revealed that Anwar would be visiting Tawau on July 1.

It is believed that Osman will be accepted into the party on that day.