KOTA KINABALU: Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia Sabah chapter has denied that members from its Putatan division had quit en masse to join Umno.
Putatan Bersatu Armada chief Mohd Isquzawan Israq Arsit said the claim by acting Putatan Umno chief Jeffrey Nor that Bersatu members were among some 300 people who quit the division to join Umno was baseless and untrue.
He said Jeffrey had purposely fabricated the matter in the latter’s pursuit of cheap publicity.
“It’s true that there were one or two people who quit (Bersatu) such as the heads of the South Sembulan and Tanjung Aru Baru branches (in the Putatan division).
“But the Srikandi and Youth chiefs as well as other members of the branches still remained with Bersatu. In fact, the branches are still active and they only recently completed their branch meetings,” he said in a statement on Monday (Sept 26).
The Borneo Post reported on Sunday (Sept 25) that some 300 members from Bersatu and Parti Warisan from the Putatan parliamentary constituency have submitted their application forms to join Umno.
The forms were presented to Jeffrey by the group’s representative Sulaiman Salleh in a ceremony in Putatan, which was witnessed by Umno vice-president Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid and Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Mohamad.
Mahdzir had said that Umno was always open to receiving fresh applications from former members who desired to return to the party.
Jeffrey, meanwhile, also claimed 630 former Warisan and Bersatu members had previously sent in their forms to Umno.
Mohd Isquzawan challenged Jeffrey to prove his claim saying that Sulaiman was not even a Bersatu member and they did not know who he was.
“Enough with the lies. Be a responsible leader instead of spewing baseless claims,” he said, adding that he also believed Jeffrey’s action was motivated by his desire to be named as Umno's candidate for the Putatan MP seat.