Bersatu president Muhyiddin Yassin has hinted that Bersatu Sabah, which was launched today, may be led by ex-Umno assemblyperson who defected, Hajiji Noor.
This was revealed by Muhyiddin in his speech at the launching ceremony in Penampang this afternoon.
"Today we will see the announcement of (Sabah Bersatu leaders), especially those who will be holding key positions.
"I will just drop some hints. Because the event today is chaired by no other than Hajiji Noor, then it shouldn't be a guessing game who would be leading the state party leadership," said Muhyiddin towards the end of his speech, to the cheers of many of the audience.
Later, party chairperson Dr Mahathir Mohamad in his launching speech, announced Bersatu's expansion to the East Malaysia state with Hajiji as its coordinator.
In a press conference that followed the ceremony, the prime minister told reporters that Hajiji has been put in charge to ensure the formation of Bersatu in Sabah follows the party's constitution.
"We will have (party) elections at the division level, that is why at this stage, Hajiji will be the coordinator.
"(He is tasked) to set up Bersatu in Sabah according to our constitution, and select leaders according to the processes that had been stipulated in the constitution," said Mahathir.
Hajiji is a former Sabah Umno chairperson, who won the Sulaman state seat in last year's general election on the Malay-based party's ticket.
However, he left Umno in December last year together with 13 other Sabah state assemblypersons and four MPs, two senators, and 21 division chiefs.
Hajiji was quoted as saying in a press conference announcing the exodus that they were leaving Umno because the party lacked clear direction.
In February, it was reported that Hajiji and other former Umno assemblypersons and MPs in the state had submitted their membership applications to join Bersatu.
Hajiji was later made the chief coordinator for the setting up of Bersatu in Sabah.