SABAH Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin today confirmed that Deputy Chief Minister III Shahelmey Yahya’s party membership has been suspended for six years.
“Well, he (Shahelmey) is suspended for six years, all right, thank you,” he told reporters without elaborating when met at the Kinabatangan Umno division delegates’ meeting in Sandakan today.
Shahelmey, in a brief statement today, said he has yet to receive any official word from Umno regarding the matter, adding that he had expected the decision.
“I accept it with an open heart and I hope the statement that was reported (by Bung) can be considered as the official decision,” he said.
On January 6, Bung announced that Sabah Umno and Barisan Nasional were withdrawing their support for Hajiji Noor as chief minister, but Shahelmey and four other Umno assemblymen at the time pledged their support for Hajiji, who is also Gabungan Rakyat Sabah chairman.
On February 21, five Sabah Umno assemblymen – Jasnih Daya (Pantai Dalit), James Ratib (Sugut), Mohd Arsad Bistari (Tempasuk), Yusof Yacob (Sindumin) and Hamild @ Hamid Awang (Balung) – announced that they were quitting the party.
On February 25, Shahelmey, who is also Putatan MP and Tanjung Keramat assemblyman, said he was called up by the Umno disciplinary board to state his reasons for the charges that had been stated.
Meanwhile, Bung, who is also Kinabatangan Umno division head after winning uncontested this time, said the action of the Sabah Umno assemblyman, leaders and members quitting the party would not affect the party.
Asked about the leaders’ action in joining Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (Gagasan Rakyat) led by Hajiji, Bung said their action was similar to the administrative era of the now-defunct Berjaya from the mid-1970s to 1980s and did not expect Gagasan Rakyat to last very long. – Bernama, March 18, 2023.