BEAUFORT: The Kimanis by-election will see the beginning of opposition cooperation in Sabah under Muafakat Sabah, says Umno president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pic).
He said although there was pessimism that the Umno-PAS cooperation under Muafakat Nasional would not work in Sabah, Muafakat Sabah could work.
“The national Muafakat Nasional between Umno-PAS may not work in Sabah. (But) Muafakat Sabah will begin with the Kimanis by-election, ” he said.
He said local-based opposition parties like Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) support cooperation.
Zahid also claimed that the national Muafakat Nasional cooperation was gaining momentum as seen in the Tanjung Piai parliamentary by-election victory of Barisan’s MCA candidate Wee Jeck Sing, who won with a massive 15,000-vote majority.
This had embarrassed the ruling Pakatan Harapan government which was now seen as a “one term if not half-term” government, he told a crowd attending a Muafakat Nasional gathering at Kampung Pimping in Membakut here late Wednesday (Jan 1).
Zahid said that it was important for people of Kimanis to keep the momentum going to ensure that they have strong opposition leaders from Sabah in Parliament.
He said Sabah Umno had given full autonomy to run and make its own policies, including the selection of candidates.
“We will not interfere in the decisions of Sabah Umno under Datuk Bung Mokhtar Radin, ” he said, adding that the decision to pick former Bongowna assemblyman Mohamad Alamin to contest was done by Sabah Umno.
“We gave comprehensive autonomy for Sabah because we know that Sabah is for Sabahans, ” Zahid said, adding that Umno came to Sabah in 1991 because it needed to help local-based Usno.
When Usno was dissolved, many of its party members joined Umno.
“Sabah Umno has now been given full powers not only to choose its candidates but also who they want to be chief minister.
“They will fight for the implementation of Malaysia Agreement 1963 and oil royalty rights, ” he told the crowd.
He said the autonomy approved for Sabah Umno at the last annual general meeting was also because Sabah had a multi-ethnic community.
He said that the Pakatan government was not able to meet Sabah’s demand for higher oil royalty and rights under MA63 (Malaysia Agreement 1963) though they kept saying they were facing financial constraints.
He said that if Barisan returned to power, it would provide direct allocations to the state government and let it decide on the projects it wanted to pursue.
“This would be the real autonomy, ” he said during the talk attended by PAS president Abdul Hadi Awang and senior Umno and PAS leaders.
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