KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno will formulate its own opposition political alliance in the state and will not be following the electoral pact between Umno and PAS in Peninsular Malaysia, says its chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin.
Sabah Umno will work out its alliances with local-based opposition parties as part of its strategy to prepare for the next general election.“I have more or less identified four to five opposition parties in Sabah to start discussions on the possibility of working together in the next election,” he said when contacted yesterday.
He did not rule out Sabah PAS as part of their discussions, although they were looking for opposition parties with strength in their respective areas of influence.
“What we want is to take on Parti Warisan Sabah and its Pakatan Harapan partners in a ‘one to one’ contest to avoid splits in votes,” the Kinabatangan MP said when asked if Sabah Umno would also forge a pact with Sabah PAS for the election.But he declined to name the parties he was proposing for the alliance till the pact had been finalised.
“We will not be contesting under Barisan Nasional. We will look at other platforms if needed,” he said, adding that he would meet with the leaders of the opposition parties in Sabah next week.
Sabah Umno is expected to get autonomy when the party’s constitution is amended at its congress later this year so that it can operate on its own, including forging coalitions.After losing the state government in GE14, Sabah Umno was seen working with a loose coalition known as Gabungan Sabah, which currently comprises Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), led by Datuk Seri Dr Maximus Ongkili, and Parti Solidariti Tanah AirKu (Sabah STAR), headed by Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan.But when senior Sabah Umno leaders left for Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia which spread its wings to Sabah in April, Sabah Umno was seen working together.
However, Sabah Umno supported PBS’ candidate in the May 11 Sandakan by-election in a failed bid to wrest the seat from Sabah DAP.