Sabah politicians support ban proposal on Umno Youth chief


KOTA KINABALU: Politicians in Sabah, where Dr Muhamad Akmal Saleh was briefly detained on Friday, are supporting calls to ban the Umno Youth chief from entering the state.

“We do not want their kind of politicking to come to Sabah. What happens on the peninsula stays on the peninsula,” said Parti Bersatu Sabah Youth chief Christoper Mandut.

Describing the Merlimau assemblyman as the “king of controversies”, Mandut said Sabah was not receptive to anything that could cause disunity among the people in the state.

Dr Muhamad Akmal flew from Kuala Lumpur and arrived at the Kota Kinabalu International Airport at about 10.15am on Friday, when he was approached by plainclothes policemen after immigration clearance.

He was released at 12.10pm the same day.

Mandut issued a statement yesterday in reference to Dr Muhamad Akmal’s presence in Sabah on Friday, saying that he was grateful that no untoward incident happened while Dr Muhamad Akmal was in Kota Kinabalu.

He said that Sabahans are generally calm and tolerant people, and rioting is not a practice in the state.

Former foreign minister Tan Sri Anifah Aman, in a separate statement, said Dr Muhamad Akmal’s behaviour amid the controversial socks issue was disgraceful and that it would be a good idea not to tolerate people who can cause racial disunity.

Dr Muhamad Akmal was on a one-day visit to Sabah to attend Iftar Ramadan with Sabah Umno Youth leaders in Beaufort, some 100km from here, before flying back to Kuala Lumpur yesterday.

Meanwhile, state Umno information chief Datuk Suhaimi Nasir said leaders who play up religious and racial sentiments are the cause of disunity in the country.

He said the actions of these leaders, which can cause chaos, should be condemned.

“There are some leaders who try to play up sensitive issues that can cause friction among the multiracial communities of this country,” he said in a statement yesterday.

Suhaimi did not name these politicians.

He urged the people to differentiate between a political party and politics, as these two are different.

“For matters relating to race, we as Sabahans must work hard to protect the harmony we enjoy in this state,” he added.

He said Umno has its own supporters, as do other parties.

“However, to preserve sensitivity among races, we should put party affiliation aside,” he added.

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