Putatan Umno division backs Bung to lead in Sabah election


KOTA KINABALU: The Putatan Umno division has passed a resolution for Kinabatangan MP Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin to lead the state party into the Sabah election expected by Sept 2025.

Putatan division chief Jeffrey Nor Mohamed said that Bung Moktar had remained loyal to the party and held it together when 22 of 25 division chiefs, led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, left Umno in Dec 2018 after the party lost the state government.

Jeffrey said that Bung Moktar's leadership was needed as he not only remained loyal to the party but also steered it back into becoming a political force following the crisis.

He said Bung Moktar, the Kinabatangan Umno division chief, along with Datuk Raime Unggi (Tenom division) and Datuk Yakub Khan (Sepanggar division), were the only division leaders left during the exodus.

"These three have proven to be very loyal to Sabah Umno. Therefore, the Putatan division endorses Bung Moktar Radin to be retained as state leader to face the Sabah state election," he said after the division's annual general meeting.

The Putatan division's endorsement for Bung Moktar comes amid perceived differences between Bung Moktar and his deputy state chairman, Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan, on electoral pacts for the election.

Bung Moktar has repeatedly maintained that Sabah Umno should not forge an electoral pact with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), led by Hajiji, as they were allegedly played out in the previous 2020 electoral pact.

Abdul Rahman, who had invited Hajiji to the opening of his Tuaran Umno division meeting, which was opened by party president Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi over the weekend, is pushing for Sabah Umno to work with GRS.

Jeffrey, who is Sabah Umno election director, said that in all organisations there should not be "two captains in one ship" as claimed by party detractors.

"If there is a split in the Sabah Umno leadership, it will certainly have a negative impact when facing the Sabah election," he said.

He said any electoral pact with other parties must ensure that Umno is not betrayed as happened previously.

"We have to learn from our past experiences," he said.

Ahmad Zahid, who opened four Umno division meetings in the state over the weekend, said the party would decide on its possible partners when the time is right.

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