Tok Mat: Umno will not contest Sandakan by-election


KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has announced that it will not field any candidate in the Sandakan parliamentary by-election on May 11.

Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the party would not do so because it has never contested in the seat before and it was represented by a Sabah Barisan Nasional component party.

“We have decided that the party will not contest the seat,” he told reporters after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting here at Putra World Trade Centre Monday (April 22).

The Sandakan by-election was called after the sudden death of Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong on March 28.

At least three independents have indicated their interest in contesting the polls too.

It was reported that Sandakan has 39,777 registered voters comprising 49% Chinese, 44% Muslim bumiputra and 6% non-Muslim bumiputra voters.

On a separate matter, Mohamad Hasan said that the Umno general assembly this year would be held from Nov 13-16.

“We need an extra day to hold an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) to amend the party's constitution as it is no longer the government,” he said.

Among others, he said, the amendments would also look into easing new member registrations and to give full autonomy to the Sabah state chapter.

According to Mohamad Hasan, after a vetting process by party headquarters, Umno now has seen its 3.6 million members reduced to about three million.

“We have done a vetting process and we found that some have passed away while others have jumped to other parties.

“Those with doubtful membership status would be decided at the division level,” he said.

Mohamad Hasan added that Umno will also hold its 73rd anniversary celebration in a moderate manner at the headquarters.

“We will have a supreme council meeting followed by berbuka puasa (breaking of fast) and terawih prayers at night,” he said.