Umno’s Musa Aman Attends PPBM’s Raya Open House

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Musa’s son claims still independent MP after getting PPBM card.

Former Sabah chief minister Musa Aman attended a Hari Raya open house held by state PPBM coordinator Hajiji Mohd Noor at his residence in Tuaran today.

Julia Chan

Hajiji welcomed the beleaguered former state BN leader who arrived at the former’s residence with his bodyguards at about 11.30am.

Musa, who is Sungai Sibuga assemblyman and the sole Umno state assemblyman in Sabah, arrived in a black tinted Toyota Land Cruiser wearing a satin light blue Baju Melayu and samping and was greeted by other state PPBM and local party leaders in attendance.

His son, Sipitang MP Yamani Hafez Musa was also present.

After mingling with invited guests, Musa spent some time with Hajiji and the other leaders in a private gathering before leaving about 1.30pm. He declined to speak to reporters.

Speaking to reporters later, Hajiji, who is Sulaman assemblyman, said Musa came as a friend and his “former boss”.

“We have maintained our relationship as friends. In our previous political relationship, I regard him as my former boss,” he said when asked to comment on Musa’s presence at his open house.

“For Raya, we don’t choose who to invite. We are open to anyone coming especially leaders who have contributed a lot to the state,” he said.

Asked whether he had invited members of the state Cabinet, including Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, Hajiji said he did not send any official invitation to anyone, but that everyone was welcome.

“There was no official invite. The politicians who came heard about this from Whatsapp,” he said.

When asked if Musa was joining PPBM, Hajiji smiled and said Musa was still an Umno member.

“He is still an Umno member. I didn’t ask him if he’s joining,” he said.

Musa had been keeping a low profile until recently, where he has been spotted in his constituency of Sandakan. He is facing 51 court charges of corruption for allegation of abuse during his tenure.

Among the Sabah PPBM elected reps who attended today’s open house were Beluran MP Datuk Ronald Kiandee, Libaran MP Datuk Zakaria Edris, Karanaan assemblyman Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun and Klias assemblyman Datuk Isnin Aliasnih.

Despite PPBM being a PH component party, in Sabah, they have maintained a friendly relationship with the opposition.

Opposition members present were former PBS president Tan Sri Joseph Pairin Kitingan, who is now the party’s premier advisor, as well as PBS secretary-general Datuk Jahid Jahim and information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai. There were also representatives from MCA and Parti Cinta Sabah.

Meanwhile, Hajiji also said that Sabah PPBM has had some 200,000 membership applications and processed between 70,000 to 80,000.

He said all 25 divisions have been set up and they are expecting to hold its first annual general meeting later this year.

Meanwhile, Yamani said he is waiting for official word of his membership from its chairman Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad despite receiving his PPBM card.

He said he is still listed as an ‘independent’ in the Dewan Rakyat even after Hajiji announced his membership.

“I had applied to join much earlier, before January,” he told reporters.

FMT

“But according to my seat in Parliament, I’m an independent. Usually, once the prime minister announces you’re in, they will change your seat. That’s how you know you’re officially in the party,” he said, adding that he is hoping to hear from Dr Mahathir soon.

Yamani, a former Sabah Barisan Nasional Youth chief as well as the former state Umno and Sipitang division Youth chief, was among the mass exodus of members who quit last December.

The group eventually joined PPBM in stages.

At the party’s Sabah launch event on April 6, Dr Mahathir announced that eight former Umno assemblymen and four MPs were now members of PPBM.

Hafez’s name was not announced then and he was not present at the party’s launch. He has also not been seen around Sabah recently.

When asked later, Hajiji said that Yamani was accepted as a member of PPBM as early as January and was even given a membership card.

Hajiji said he does not know why Parliament has not set Yamani up in the government side yet

“I don’t know why he is still ‘independent’, that’s up to Parliament seating arrangement but he has got the card. He received his earlier than me in March, even before the launching,” said Hajiji.

Yamani is also the proposed PPBM deputy division chief for Sipitang.

On his departure from Umno, Yamani said that the decision to leave the former ruling party and join PPBM was a group decision that he went along with.

“It was a collective decision. We went together, we followed the leadership, it was not just personal.

“I don’t want to speculate but we want to strengthen the party’s numbers. The numbers in Parliament are not as big as PKR and DAP. We are the size of Amanah but we hold a significant role,” he said.

Yamani was also named respondent in an election petition by the Warisan candidate for Sipitang which was thrown out but is now pending an appeal on June 26.

“It is still ongoing, but they’re now in government, they have the advantage position, so unless they’re questioning our judiciary.

“If politically motivated it doesn’t make much sense to pursue this doesn’t make much sense because of my position,” he said, referring to the alignment between PPBM in the Pakatan Harapan federal government and the Warisan-led Sabah government.