KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno members have been urged not to be side-tracked by the Chief Minister rotation system issue and instead concentrate on the coming state elections due anytime between now and March next year.
Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Khalil Yaacob said the two-year rotation system among the three major communities was part of the election manifesto made during the 1999 election and the mandate given to it by the people should be honoured.
If there were to be any changes, it will have to be seen in the next manifesto that will be agreed upon by the leadership, he said during a media dinner here on Saturday.
We will cross the bridge when the time comes. Now all Umno divisions must concentrate on preparing for elections, said Khalil, who had earlier opened the Tenom and Keningau Umno division annual meetings.
He said that Umno members should work on checking electoral rolls and training the Puteri wing in conducting house-to-house campaigns for the coming polls.
You must remember that Sabah state elections are usually held earlier then national elections. We must be ever ready for this, he said.
The Sabah rotation system, which sees the post of chief minister rotated every two years among the Muslim bumiputra, non-Muslim bumiputra and Chinese communities, was first implemented in 1994 when Barisan came to power.
Of late, there have been calls from among the Umno ranks and other component parties for a review of the system which some say was disruptive to a smooth administration while others argued it was the best form of power sharing.
Barisan leaders have maintained that changes in the system would have to come through consensus in the nine-member state coalition.