Pandikar and Salleh Keruak to leave Usno for PKR?

Azril Annuar
former communications and multimedia minister Datuk Seri Md Salleh Said Keruak has reportedly denied the rumour that he will be quitting Usno. — Bernama pic

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 6 — Former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia and former communications and multimedia minister Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak are rumoured to be joining PKR after the Malaysia Day celebration.

The two who used to be with Umno and are now with United Sabah National Organisation (Usno), but the Sabah-based party’s information chief Musli Oli told Free Malaysia Today (FMT) that several prominent members plan to cross over to PKR soon. 

The identities of these leaders were not disclosed in the news report. Instead, Musli reportedly said that they chose PKR due to the party’s number of seats at federal level and unlike Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad’s PPBM, PKR is seen to be more influential.

According to FMT, the Usno leaders are expected to submit their PKR membership application after September 16, marking another major crossover by former Barisan Nasional leaders since the Sabah Umno exodus last year.

Salleh reportedly denied the rumour that he will be quitting Usno, but confirmed his party has invited PKR president Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim for an event, which he insisted is apolitical.

“Anwar is attending a function organised by Usbo in conjunction with Malaysia Day. Pandikar is the Usbo president and I am the organisation’s adviser. It is not a political function,” Salleh was quoted saying by FMT, referring to the United Sabah Bajau Organisation.

Sabah PKR leaders apparently have refused to comment on the speculation.

Pandikar joined Usno in May after resigning from Umno in December 2018 with many other party members.

He was appointed as Usno’s strategic adviser but tendered his resignation from the post last month.

Usno is an association that looks after the welfare of the Bajau community, especially those in west coast Sabah.

It is believed that their presence in PKR would likely strengthen the multiracial party’s support among the Bajau community.

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