Labuan MP tempted to switch parties but won't 'divorce' Umno - yet

KOTA KINABALU: Amid pressure from locals to join Pakatan Harapan, Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli is keeping faith with Umno - for now.

However, the two-term MP is not writing of other options, including joining Pakatan.

Rozman said he is "considering" all factors as he did not want to risk big projects in the Federal Territory of Labuan being aborted by the new government in Putrajaya.

“The majority of people from all walks of life - the locals, my voters, NGOs and government agencies - are asking me to cross over for the sake of Labuan.

“I’m not going to rush into that. I can still serve the nation by being an opposition MP.

“But of course, I’m considering all factors and not rejecting the suggestions (to cross over) as at the end of the day, I want what is best for Labuan and for the people,” said Rozman when contacted.

Rozman said he wanted to see through the Labuan Development Blueprint 2030, which is slated to bring a raft of projects to the duty-free island in order to spur its development.

“The people of Labuan are excited about it and they want me to monitor the implementation, that’s why they suggested that I cross over,” said Rozman.

He added that however it was not easy to leave Barisan Nasional as he had been with Umno for a long time and still had unfinished matters within the Labuan Umno division which he heads.

“I don’t want to be an irresponsible leader, I’ve been with Umno for so long and I can’t just divorce it like that,” said Rozman.

He also said that were also suggestions for him to join Parti Warisan Sabah under Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and he is considering it.

Meanwhile, on Wednesday (May 16), it was reported that former Labuan MP Datuk Suhaili Abd Rahman had moved camps to Warisan to help the Sabah-based party cement its presence in Labuan.

In GE14, Rozman won by a 1,450 majority against Warisan’s Noor Halim Zaini, who polled 8,714 votes against Rozman’s 10,164.

The four-cornered fight also saw PAS candidate Ustaz Junid getting 1,555 votes and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah’s Siti Zaleha SW Ibrahim settling for 925 votes.

In the last 2013 general election, Rozman won the seat with a 6,625-vote majority by beating Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin of PKR (6,069) and Hadnan Mohamad of PAS (386).