Salleh Keruak: It Was a Mistake to Have Left Umno in 2018

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Former federal minister Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Said Keruak, who is re-applying to join Umno, said that his decision to leave Sabah Umno on Dec 12, 2018 was a “mistake”.

Salleh said that he now leaves it to Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and the party’s supreme council, as well as Sabah Umno, to decide whether to accept him back.

In a post on his blog Wednesday (July 1), Salleh confirmed the statement by Sabah Umno chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin that he had applied to re-join Umno.

Salleh said that his membership application form was submitted on May 26.


“I intend to contribute my efforts and energy with Umno in pursuing the agenda…(in its) struggle to build our beloved Malaysia,” he said just a day after he announced he had cancelled his application to join PKR.

The 61-year-old former Sabah chief minister under the Barisan Nasional administration, lost his Kota Belud parliamentary seat to political newcomer Isnaraissah Munirah from Parti Warisan Sabah in the May 2018 general election.

Salleh joined the exodus of Sabah Umno members who quit the party on Dec 12, 2018 to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, which had then spread its wings to Sabah in April 2019.

However, Salleh and also former Dewan Rakyat Speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin were among some of the prominent former Sabah Umno leaders not accepted by Bersatu, led then by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

Salleh applied to join PKR in October, but his application hit a snag amid objections by Sabah PKR members led by Datuk Christina Liew, the state’s Deputy Chief Minister.

Pandikar declined to join PKR and talked about restarting his disbanded Parti Akar but has kept a low profile since then.

Both Salleh and Pandikar are from the Kota Belud area.

In an earlier posting, Salleh said he had, sometime in April, cancelled his application to join PKR after pondering and considering the current politic landscape, including the internal squabbles in PKR.

Bung told The Star on Sunday (June 28) that he is confident that Salleh’s membership would be accepted as it was Sabah Umno’s intention to allow for all its members who left the party to return to the fold.