KOTA KINABALU: Umno’s Labuan MP Datuk Rozman Isli is set announce on Thursday (Oct 11) his decision to leave the party to join Parti Warisan Sabah.
He is widely expected to hand over his application to Warisan’s secretary general Datuk Darell Leiking, who will be on a “political visit” to the island on Thursday.
Rozman, who has been widely speculated to be planning to quit Umno after they lost the government in the May 9 general election, remained coy about the latest speculations.
However, he has hinted that he was moving out of Umno.
“I will release my statement tomorrow (Oct 11). Now I am still preparing (my notes). Lots of details to put down… (it’s) long one, longer then Tok Pa’s (Datuk Seri Mustapa Mohamed),” he said referring to Jeli MP’s resignation from Umno last month.
Mustapa and Kimanis MP Datuk Seri Anifah Aman both quit Umno last month and have positioned themselves as independents.
Sources close Rozman said they expected the Labuan MP to join Warisan immediately and was unlikely to take an independent stand.
The sources said Rozman was planning to work with the Warisan state government for the future of the island which belonged to Sabah but was made a federal territory in 1983.
Rozman, who is the Labuan Umno division chief, has made it clear to close associates that he has nothing against Umno but his decision would be based on the interest of Labuan.
“You cannot sit in the opposition when you are the MP of Labuan.
“You need to be part of the government of the day to ensure that Labuan is not left out,” the source said.
The source explained that Warisan was a partner in the Pakatan Harapan-led federal government, and so it was better for him to choose a Sabah party as the island depended a lot on Sabah for its various needs.
“It is not because he hates Umno; it is for realistic and practical political reasons,” the source added.