Ex-minister Salleh, ex-speaker Pandikar to join PKR?

Salleh Said Keruak and Pandikar Amin Mulia are speculated to join PKR, in a move seen as strengthening the party’s support among Sabah’s Bajau community.

KOTA KINABALU: Speculation is rife that former minister Salleh Said Keruak and former Dewan Rakyat speaker Pandikar Amin Mulia will be joining PKR.

United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) information chief Musli Oli told FMT that the duo are among several prominent leaders from the Bajau community who will be making the move, in what is seen as another major crossover by former Barisan Nasional leaders following the exodus from Sabah Umno late last year.

Musli said their choice of PKR was due to the party’s position in the federal government, adding that unlike PPBM, PKR is seen to have influence.

Pandikar joined Usno in May after quitting Umno in December last year together with dozens of others.

The former Sabah Umno information chief was appointed as Usno’s strategic adviser, but quit the post last month.

It is understood that Pandikar and Salleh alongside several others will submit their PKR membership applications after the Malaysia Day celebration on Sept 16.

When contacted, Salleh denied the rumour, but said Usbo has invited PKR leader Anwar Ibrahim to attend an “apolitical” event organised by the United Sabah Bajau Organisation (Usbo).

“Anwar is attending a function organised by the Usbo in conjunction with Malaysia Day. Pandikar is the Usbo president and I am the organisation’s adviser. It is not a political function,” he told FMT.

Sabah PKR leaders have so far refused to comment on the speculation.

Pandikar and Salleh are both part of Usbo, an association that looks after the welfare of the Bajau community, particularly those in the west coast of Sabah.

Their presence in PKR would likely strengthen the multiracial party’s support among the Bajau community.