KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno remains intact, and its chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor has rubbished incessant talks that the party was wrapping up in the state.
“Sabah Umno is still very much intact and united,” Hajiji said amid a local media report that the party leaders and members were going to dump the party.
“Our social and community services, as well as activities are being carried out usual in many divisions in Sabah,” said the Sulaman assemblyman, amid the latest speculations on the future of the party that lost its grip on government after the May 9 elections.
“This is merely a speculative report, obviously intended to elicit responses that would further sensationalise political issues in Sabah and excite politically-charged Sabahans,” Hajiji said when commenting on a report, quoting sources in the Daily Express that headlined the story “Sabah Umno headed for the dustbin?”
He said the newspaper’s choice of harsh words were also intended “to hit UMNO below the belt.”
“It is unfair to use words that is too harsh to criticise UMNO, as UMNO has contributed so much to Sabah and its people.
“UMNO and Barisan Nasional has developed and brought much prosperity to people in the State regardless of their political ideologies, races and religious beliefs,” he said in a statement.
He said the focus was now on the daily work, especially with the current challenging economic situation in this country.
“ Everyone in Sabah should work together to help make this country great again. We need to get our priorities correct,” he added.
Sabah Umno won 17 of the 29 state seats won by Sabah Barisan. Sabah Umno is now left with 10 assemblymen after the seven of them joined Warisan or left the party to join the ruling Parti Warisan Sabah coalition or remained independent.
Sabah Umno and other Sabah Barisan parties – Parti Bersatu Sabah and Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah – together with Parti Solidariti Tanah Air-Ku (Sabah STAR) have formed a new coalition Gabungan Bersatu Sabah.
Umno central leadership have promised to give Sabah Umno more autonomy though political talk remain that some of its leaders might shift out for another party or even join Warisan under Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.
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