KUALA LUMPUR: Umno has announced that it will not field any candidate in the upcoming May 11 Sandakan parliamentary by-election.
Umno deputy president Datuk Seri Mohamad Hasan said the party would not do so because it has never contested in the seat, which was traditionally represented by a fellow Sabah Barisan Nasional component party.
“We (Umno) have decided not to contest the seat,” he told reporters after chairing the Umno supreme council meeting at Putra World Trade Centre yesterday.
The Sandakan by-election was called after the death of Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Stephen Wong on March 28.
Wong, who at the time was Sabah’s Health and Wellness Minister, was believed to have died from a heart attack.
At this stage, at least three independents have indicated their interest in standing in the seat.
The constituency currently has 39,777 registered voters for the election – comprising 49% Chinese, 44% Muslim bumiputra and 6% non-Muslim bumiputra.
On a separate matter, Mohamad also announced that the Umno general assembly this year will be held from Nov 13 to 16.
“We need an extra day to hold an extraordinary general meeting to amend the party’s constitution as it is no longer the government,” said Mohamad, who is carrying out the duties of the president as Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is currently on leave as the Barisan and Umno chief.
Among others, he said, the amendments will look at easing new members’ registration and giving full autonomy to the Sabah chapter.
Mohamad also said following a vetting process by the party headquarters, its membership has reduced from 3.6 million to about three million.
“Through the vetting process we found that some have passed away while others have jumped to other parties.
“Those with doubtful membership status will be decided at the division level,” he said.
Mohamad added that Umno will hold its 73rd anniversary celebration on a moderate scale at the party headquarters.
“We will have a supreme council meeting followed by berbuka puasa (breaking of fast) and terawih prayers at night.
“States have also been told to hold their respective celebration,” he said.
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