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Cracks in Sabah PKR over OJ
Published on: Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Tawau: A rift seems to be developing in Sabah PKR barely a month after the 14th General Elections over the admission of former Umno Balung Assemblyman-cum- former State Lands and Survey Director Datuk Osman Jamal into the party.

While the State PKR declared it would not recognise Osman's membership for bypassing it, even though he claimed to have his application approved by the Central Leadership Council, the PKR Tawau division said it has no objection to OJ as he is known, joining the party.

State PKR vice chairman Mohd Amin Abdul Mem had insisted that Sabah PKR should be the one to decide whether to accept OJ or not as it had been promised full autonomy by headquarters in deciding matters concerning party policies in the state.

However, PKR Tawau Secretary Gan Chee Chan said Monday that his side welcomes Osman with open arms after receiving feedback from the party's central body with regard to his status.

"In fact, we even welcomed 500 new members from Balung who sent their application forms to us," he said, adding that PKR Tawau chief Datuk Kong Hong Ming was of the opinion that their joining the party would only strengthen it.

It was reported that Osman's online application for PKR membership had been approved and confirmed by the party's Central Leadership Council (Majlis Pimpinan Pusat), although its Sabah counterpart had insisted that the former Umno man had to apply through its secretariat in the state.

Mohd Amin had stressed there were matters that the State Leadership Council needs to look into before even considering whether to accept Osman, one of which was his pending court case.

He had also said that the council had to take into consideration the sentiment of the party's loyal supporters and voters who spent many years fighting Umno and Barisan Nasional which Osman used to belong and even contested under its ticket in the general election.

It was also reported that Osman intended to contest for the chairmanship of PKR Tawau in September, if allowed to do so.

Mohd Amin said Osman must never be allowed to accomplish his ambition.

Earlier last month, state PKR had firmly said it would not entertain any application from Umno elected representatives intending to join the party.

Its Vice Chairman Kenny Chua reportedly said that the state PKR would reject their attempts to join the party through the national level.

"If any of them wanted to join, they will have to go through the Sabah PKR which is headed by Christina Liew as we have been given the autonomy by the national PKR. And we will have to screen them first," he had said. - Lagatah Toyos


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