Former Sabah rep quits PPBM to rejoin Umno

Former Pantai Manis assemblyman Abdul Rahim Ismail.

PETALING JAYA: Former Pantai Manis assemblyman Abdul Rahim Ismail has quit PPBM to rejoin Umno, three months after leaving the Barisan Nasional (BN) component for the party led by Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

He said the Papar Umno leadership had visited him yesterday and invited him to rejoin the party.

After discussing the matter with his family members and supporters, he said, he had agreed to do so.

Speaking to FMT, Rahim said he left PPBM because the party had not kept to its promise of being inclusive.

“When the pro tem committee was formed, I did not mind not being named as a divisional chief as we were told that only elected representatives would be divisional chiefs. That is fine.

“But why not include us in the divisional committee so that we can contribute?”

He added that he had wanted to help PPBM grow in Sabah but that his omission from the committee had left him “politically paralysed”.

When PPBM first spread its wings to Sabah, he said, he and his supporters had worked hard to recruit members even though this was difficult as Umno was still the more popular party among the grassroots.

“In Sabah, Umno is still strong and seen as a sincere party, especially when the poor and working class compare the aid they got from the Umno/BN-led government and what they are getting from the Pakatan Harapan-led government.

“So if people say I am ‘kacang lupakan kulit’ (a person who forgets his roots), I disagree because I have contributed to the development and politics in Papar,” he said.

Meanwhile, a high-ranking PPBM leader told FMT that the problems in Sabah are rooted in the party’s powerful Supreme Council.

“Question marks have been raised over those who manage party matters regarding membership and appointments,” said the leader who did not want to be named.

He claimed that some division chiefs in the state were not even legitimate PPBM members at the time of their appointment, and that those who joined PPBM earlier were denied posts.

He said PPBM must “clean its own house” before it can champion the unity of Malays as envisioned by Mahathir.