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(Stock image for illustration purposes) Former Batu Sapi Umno division chief Datuk Samsudin Yahya announced his exit from the party along with 55 party branch chiefs. NSTP/ Eizairi Shamsudin

SANDAKAN: Former Batu Sapi Umno division chief Datuk Samsudin Yahya announced his exit from the party, with immediate effect today.

Samsudin, who held the division chief position for three terms before losing to former Batu Sapi Umno Youth chief Khairul Firdaus Akhbar Khan, said the decision was made after he lost faith in the latter’s leadership.

The former Sekong assemblyman claimed Khairul Firdaus failed in his efforts to restore the confidence and faith of party members.

Samsudin, however, said they trust Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor and would support measures taken to bring their struggle forward and to the next level.

Former Batu Sapi Umno division chief Datuk Samsudin Yahya with some of the branch chiefs during a press conference announcing his exit from the party. NSTP/ Poliana Ronnie Sidom.

With rumours swirling about several Umno MPs in Sabah expected to leave the party, Sabah Umno secretary Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun earlier said Hajiji is expected to hold a press conference on the matter tomorrow.

Meanwhile, Samsudin said they also pledged support towards Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad.

“We are of the opinion that there is a need to have a party that can become a platform to safeguard the special rights of Sabah bumiputera and Malays, in line with the political leadership at the national level,” he said at a press conference here, today.

At the same press conference, 55 party branch chiefs in the Batu Sapi division also expressed their intention of leaving Umno.

Also expected to follow suit are Batu Sapi Umno deputy chief Zantapha Jainal Abidin and Batu Sapi Puteri Umno chief Hazulizah Md Dani.

When asked whether they were planning to join Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (PPBM), Samsuddin reiterated that they put their trust in Hajiji.

“Whatever direction taken by Datuk Hajiji, our fist stand is to follow (Hajiji),” he said.

Samsudin noted the decision to leave Umno was made a week ago, adding there is a need to have a change in the political landscape especially in Batu Sapi.

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