KUALA LUMPUR: There is no question of Umno in Sabah being dissolved despite talk of lawmakers and senators quitting the party there, said Umno secretary-general Tan Sri Annuar Musa.
“I have gotten guarantees from the majority of Umno leaders in Sabah and the youths from Pemuda and Puteri wings; they want Umno to continue so the issue of Umno in Sabah being dissolved is never raised,” he said. He acknowledged that he had heard talk about lawmakers wanting to quit Sabah Umno but he said there had been no official notice sent to the headquarters on this.
He, however, confirmed that he held meetings a few days ago with several division leaders from Sabah, including with the state liaison chief and Sabah Umno secretary.
“They explained the problems they are facing. It is rather complex, unique and isolated,” he said.
Speaking to reporters yesterday about speculation that a number of assemblymen, MPs and senators are quitting to become independent and Pakatan Harapan friendly, he said: “Those who want to leave the party can leave but they will be immediately replaced.”
Although members are not bound to Umno, he reminded them their decisions to quit should be on a personal basis.
“They cannot drag Sabah Umno into it because the future and position of Sabah Umno will be decided by the Umno supreme council,” he said.
Annuar dismissed talk that Umno’s Sabah chapter would crumble if these “Yang Berhormat” depart from the party.
He said each division in Sabah has up to 20,000 members and only 50 of them are needed for the division to continue to exist.
Annuar deduced that the MPs rumoured to be quitting wanted to be where the power lies and believe that this would bring more access to funding, among others.
“We at Umno have to be clear because if you are talking about money, we don’t have it. Our accounts have all been frozen so we cannot do much about it.
“If you talk about power, everyone knows we are no longer the government of the day so we are unable to provide funding or allocations for projects,” he said.
Sources said that the MPs have lost confidence in the party and want Sabah to align itself with the federal government.
One source told The Star that some lawmakers also met Prime Minister Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad to inform him of their intention.
Another source said a “new paradigm shift” was needed to look after the interest of Sabahans, particularly the bumiputra community.