Sipitang MP says he’s unsure if he’s PPBM member yet

Sipitang MP Yamani Hafez Musa.

TUARAN: Sipitang MP Yamani Hafez Musa said he is unsure if he’s a PPBM member as yet because he still sits in the independent bench in Parliament although he was told his membership had been accepted.

Yamani, the eldest son of former chief minister Musa Aman, said he had applied to join the Pakatan Harapan component party before the start of this year.

Sabah PPBM chief coordinator Hajiji Mohd Noor had reportedly announced his membership recently.

“I had applied to join much earlier, before January. But based on my seat in Parliament, I’m still an independent.

“Normally, once you’re in, they will change your seat. That’s how you know you’re officially in the party,” he told reporters at Hajiji’s Hari Raya open house here today.

Yamani was one of 13 Sabah Umno elected representatives who ditched the party last December.

All but one of the former Umno senior members — eight assemblymen and four MPs — eventually joined PPBM in stages between March and April 6, the day PPBM was launched in Sabah.

However, Yamani was not among those whose names were announced as having joined in the first batch on March 15, nor was he present during the launch.

Hajiji said as far as he was concerned, Yamani was already a PPBM member, adding the latter had in fact received his membership card earlier than the other former senior Umno members who had applied.

“He received his membership as early as January,” he said when asked why Yamani said he was still an independent MP.

He said Yamani was the proposed Sipitang PPBM deputy chief.

Yamani said he joined PPBM as part of a collective decision by the former senior Sabah Umno members.

“We went together. It was nothing personal. I don’t want to speculate but we want to strengthen the party’s numbers. The number in Parliament is not as big as PKR and DAP. We are the size of Amanah but we hold a significant role,” he said.

Yamani was named as a respondent in an election petition filed by Warisan candidate Noor Hayaty Mustapha for the Sipitang seat. The suit was thrown out.

The Federal Court is expected to make a decision on June 26 on an appeal against the Election Court’s decision in striking out the case.