Sabah PPBM denies assemblymen returning to Umno

All MPs and assemblymen in Sabah PPBM are standing firm behind the leadership of its chief, Hajiji Noor, says the party.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah opposition party PPBM has rubbished claims that several of its state assemblymen are planning to rejoin Umno.

Its information chief, Firdaus Akbhar, today dismissed such speculation and believed it was done by individuals opposed to the establishment of PPBM in the state as well as bent on creating a rift among Perikatan Nasional partners.

“All MPs and assemblymen in Sabah PPBM are standing firm behind the leadership of Sabah PPBM chief Hajiji Noor,” Firdaus said in a response to a report by a news portal.

The report alleged five Sabah PPBM reps, who are friendly to former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman, are planning to return to Sabah Umno.

Sabah PPBM was established in the state in April 2019 following a mass exodus of Sabah Umno leaders in December 2018.

The group was led by Hajiji, who is also the Sulaman assemblyman.

Sabah PPBM now has nine state assemblymen, namely Hajiji, Masidi Manjun (Karanaan), Japlin Akin – (Usukan), Ghulam Haidar Khan (Kawang), Mohd Arifin Mohd Arif (Membakut), Matbali Musa (Lumadan), Bobbey Suan (Nabawan), Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan (Apas) and Isnin Aliasnih (Klias).

The party also has five MPs, namely Abdul Rahim Bakri (Kudat), Azizah Mohd Dun (Beaufort), Hafez Yamani Musa (Sipitang), Ronald Kiandee (Beluran) and Zakaria Mohd Edris (Libaran).

The report said among the five reps said to be leaving were Hafez, who is Musa’s son, Arifin and Musa’s son-in-law, Ghulam.

Warisan had been known to have opposed the entry of PPBM into Sabah, following a purported deal between its president, Shafie Apdal, and PPBM chairman Dr Mahathir Mohamad that PPBM would not set foot in Sabah before the 14th general election.

Warisan viewed the PPBM move as a betrayal to them.

Firdaus believed the rumours were created by those who were envious of the success of the Perikatan Nasional government in handling the Covid-19 crisis and the appointment of leaders to key positions in the federal Cabinet, agencies and others.

Beluran MP Kiandee, for instance, has been made the Sabah Development Action Council chairman and federal agriculture and agro-based industry minister.

Recently, the ruling party leaders from Upko, DAP and PKR were forced to come out with a joint statement over their support for Shafie as Warisan chief following rumours on social media of a political fallout in the state.

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