Moving ‘house’: In Sabah, Umno man claims ex-leaders took party files, tables, chairs... before joining PPBM

Julia Chan

Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that not only did the former Sabah Umno leaders leave the party, but they also took files and other assets along with them. — Picture by Shafwan Zaidon

KOTA KINABALU, July 17 — Former Sabah Umno leaders who left the party for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Sabah(PPBM) had not only taken assets belonging to their party with them, but also failed to handover administrative files at the division level to their successors, said a Sabah Umno leader.

In a statement to PPBM leadership committee secretary Datuk Ronald Kiandee today, acting Tuaran division chief Datuk Abdul Rahman Dahlan said that there were at least 15 divisions whose leaders had left, but had not released the files over to the new leadership.

“Maybe he doesn’t know about the files because he is not the Beluran division chief despite two attempts.

“So let me inform him of the Umno divisions whose files were not handed over from by the leader who jumped, to the new leadership. Among them are: Tawau, Kalabakan, Batu Sapi, Pensiangan, Kudat, Beaufort, Kota Belud, Tuaran, Putatan, Kota Marudu, Papar, Ranau, Semporna, Kimanis (the wings) and Keningau,” he said.

The former Barisan Nasional strategic communications director said that not only did the leaders leave Umno by jumping to a new party, but they also took the files and assets such as office supplies, chairs, tables, air conditioning units and bank accounts with them.

Abdul Rahman said he was puzzled by the act not to return the files despite asking politely and officially.

“What is the agenda? Those admin files include membership data of the party that is not personal belongings. Those belong to the party!” he said.

“I hope my friend YB Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee can get in touch with all the former Umno division secretaries urgently and tell them to return those files to the respective Umno divisions and their leaders.

“The office supplies, chairs, tables and aircond [sic] — you don’t need to return those. We have marked those as donations,” he said.

In December last year, some 21 former Umno Sabah divisional chiefs, nine state assemblymen, five members of parliament and two senators chose to leave the party because they were of the opinion that it was the end of Umno Sabah after the 14th general election. Most eventually joined PPBM.

Abdul Rahman recently said that PPBM in Sabah will not go far because its expansion here was more out of personal interest than genuine serving of the people and alleged that they took the files containing membership information with them to register Umno members and branch leaders into PPBM without their knowledge or consent.

Kiandee, in a response yesterday denied that the party was registering members without consent and stressed that membership was based on an “inclusive approach” and voluntary basis, without condition of positions.

He said the party has a certain mechanism to ensure members register voluntarily and “contrary to Umno, Bersatu always gives priority to ‘quality over quantity’, denying Abdul Rahman’s accusation that Umno members were being registered without their knowledge.

“It is best that he gives full focus on mending Umno than questioning Sabah Bersatu’s working condition, though I am confident that he made the statement out of his ‘excitement’ on seeing the responses received by Bersatu in Sabah, particularly in Tuaran,” he had said.

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