PETALING JAYA: Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has come out to clearly state that the Mersing seat belongs to his party, after MP Abd Latiff Ahmad of PPBM said Umno is no longer popular in Sabah.
Latiff, who is rural and regional development minister, made the remarks at a forum but later apologised, saying his remarks had been misinterpreted.But Zahid, in a tweet, said regardless whether Latiff apologised or said his remarks had been misinterpreted, the Mersing seat remained Umno’s.
In replying to a tweet from Mersing Umno Youth leader Azmir Zainal Abidin who said they would support any move to return the Mersing seat to Umno, Zahid said: “Of course it belongs to Umno.”
Latiff, who was with Umno when he won the Mersing seat, switched camps to PPBM when it was still part of Pakatan Harapan.
On July 8, Barisan Nasional adviser Najib Razak had criticised Latiff for playing down the party’s popularity in Sabah. Najib had also said Umno would take Mersing back.
Latiff was reported as saying: “People in Sabah don’t call it jumping, they call it migrating. From Berjaya to PBS, PBS to Umno. Now, Umno is not popular. Umno I mean is Umno in Sabah.
“That is the reality because people are not confident. All those who have jumped have migrated to PPBM.”According to PNBBC, a portal linked to Perikatan Nasional, Latiff has since apologised for his remarks.