Former Foreign Minister and Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman has resigned from Umno.
Anifah’s resignation came less than 24 hours of Jeli MP Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed’s announcement that he is leaving Umno after more than 40 years of service to the party.
Reportedly, Anifah has submitted his letter of resignation to Umno secretary-general Annuar Musa and the reason he resigned is because Barisan Nasional (BN) failed to implement pledges related to the Malaysia Agreement 1963.
The former Sabah Umno leader said although he has left the opposition party, he would continue his responsibilities to his constituents as elected representative for Kimanis.
“I made this decision because I previously promised my voters in the Kimanis constituency and Sabah people in general that I would resign from the party if Umno and Barisan Nasional failed to fulfil their promises in relation to the Malaysia Agreement 1963,” Anifah said in a statement.
“I acknowledge that without Umno and Barisan Nasional at the seat of power, my struggle would not have borne fruit. However, I hold fast to what I previously promised, which was that I would resign if my struggle for Sabahans cannot continue under this party.”
He urged the Pakatan Harapan (PH) government to restore the rights of Sabah and Sarawak under the Malaysia Agreement.
Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said recently that his administration was committed to returning equal status to Sabah and Sarawak as partners of the peninsula in the Malaysian federation.
It is not clear yet whether Anifah is joining another party.
Earlier this year, Anifah and Rembau MP Khairy Jamaluddin had remained seated in the Dewan Rakyat while other opposition MPs staged a walk-out in protest after Mohamad Ariff Md Yusof was sworn in as Speaker for the 14th Parliament.
With Anifah’s resignation, Umno is left with only six parliamentary seats in Sabah: Kinabatangan, Kudat, Beaufort, Sipitang, Libaran and Beluran.
Anifah is the fifth MP to exit Umno since the general election, leaving Umno with 49 federal lawmakers.
Mustapa Mohamed announced his resignation from Umno last night. Masjid Tanah MP Datuk Mas Ermieyati Samsudin, Bukit Gantang MP Datuk Syed Abu Hussin Hafiz Syed Abdul Fasal, and Bagan Serai MP Datuk Noor Azmi Ghazali left Umno in recent months.
Meanwhile, Khairy tweeted three words – “Sand. Bury. Head.” – after news broke that Anifah has quit Umno.
Mustapa reportedly said he made the decision to quit because he felt the party’s current direction was no longer in line with the political principles he upheld.
He also said there was hardly any convincing effort to start rejuvenating the party.
Following Khairy’s simple three-word tweet, some Twitter users are speculating if Khairy would be quitting Umno as well.
Speculation is rife that more MPs will quit Umno.