Saturday 15 September 2012

Sabah Umno veteran Ibrahim Menudin defects ahead of polls

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 15 — Former Sabah Umno treasurer Tan Sri Ibrahim Menudin joined PKR today, marking yet another defection from the ruling Barisan Nasional (BN) coalition in recent months and boosting the Pakatan Rakyat (PR) opposition pact’s bid for power in the run-up to the 13th general election.
PKR deputy president Azmin Ali confirmed Ibrahim’s crossover when contacted by The Malaysian Insider today.
“It’s like that... but we will give further information,” said Azmin (pic). Ibrahim’s post in Umno had been taken over by the current Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Musa Aman.
Ibrahim is the non-executive director of state-owned Suria Capital Holdings Bhd.Azmin had hinted at the crossover earlier today on Twitter, saying the party would make a major announcement at 3pm.“Baru sampai Labuan. Dalam perjalanan ke Bilik Gerakan KEADILAN Parlimen Labuan. Jam 3 petang ada pengumuman penting (Just reached Labuan. On the way to Labuan Parliament Keadilan centre. Important announcement at 3pm),” the lawmaker posted on his Twitter account this morning.
PKR vice-president Chua Tian Chang also said on Twitter that Ibrahim was present at Opposition Leader Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim’s arrival in Sabah today.
He also wrote that Anwar and Ibrahim were having lunch together at The Waterfront Labuan.
In July, Beaufort MP Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin and Tuaran MP Datuk Seri Wilfred Bumburing quit BN, and respectively formed the PR-aligned movements Pakatan Perubahan Sabah (PPS) and Angkatan Perubahan Sabah (APS).
Last month, the duo were joined by Umno’s Senator Datuk Maijol Mahap.
Federal seats in east Malaysia’s Sabah and Sarawak are expected to be BN’s focal point come the general election as both states, including the federal territory of Labuan, contribute a significant 57 seats, or 25 per cent of the 222 parliamentary seats available.
In Election 2008, BN lost its customary two-thirds parliamentary majority largely due to significant losses in the peninsula. The opposition won 82 seats to BN's 140.
BN’s saving grace was in Sabah, Sarawak and Labuan where the coalition trounced the opposition and made a near-clean sweep, winning 55 parliamentary seats to the opposition’s two.
However with the recent defections, BN now holds 53 parliamentary seats in east Malaysia, while the opposition’s score is now four.

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