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Sabri: Autonomy for Sabah Umno
Published on: Friday, December 14, 2018

Kota Kinabalu: Umno Vice President Datuk Seri Ismail Sabri Yaakob said the process of giving Sabah Umno autonomy will continue despite the mass exodus of party leaders on Wednesday. "When there is already a new Sabah Umno leadership, we will continue with the process. It is already in our policy to give Sabah Umno autonomy power.

"Today (Dec 13) is supposed to be the day Vice President Datuk Seri Khalid Nordin is supposed to come here to do updates on the discussion on autonomy power for Sabah Umno, so it is a bit unfortunate," he told a press conference after attending a meeting with State Umno leaders who decided to stay put in the party at the Sabah Umno building, Thursday.

Vice President Datuk Seri Mahdzir Khalid, Umno Wanita Chief Datuk Noraini Ahmad, State Umno Wanita Chief Datuk Dr Jainab Ahmad Ayid and State Umno Youth Chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain, among others, were among present.

Sabah Umno Liaison Chief cum Sulaman Assemblyman Datuk Seri Haji Hajiji Mohd Noor left the party Wednesday along with its 13 other elected representatives, key leaders and more than half its approximately 500,000 plus members in the State, to become a pro-government Independent elected representative group.

Ismail, Mahdzir and Noraini were here to check on the actual situation and get feedback from the remaining leaders and those at divisional level.

Ismail said based on their finding Sabah Umno is not crippled.

"Today I received detailed explanation and found that each division still have key leaders. Some divisions still in full quorum, and even division chiefs remained in the party.

"At branch level, there is no branch being dissolved or all its members quit the party...so I believe Sabah Umno will continue to stay strong," he said.

During the meeting, he said they also discussed the replacement division chiefs. "The party constitution clearly stated that when there is no division chief, the deputy division chief can take over, and if there is no deputy division chief, then the vice chief can take over and so on... so each division is functioning as normal," he said.

He is also confident that Sabah Umno is now left with leaders who are strong-willed and loyal to the party, it will become stronger than previously.

"Sabah probably will be one the states that will help to rejuvenate the party because after this it will have many new and young leaders who will take over.

"The new leadership needs to be more aggressive in going to the grassroots to clear out all the confusions, including on the direction of the party.

"I will look at the mass resignation of State Umno key leaders from the positive perspective, this changes will lead to positive improvement to the party as we will have new breath of leadership.

"Umno will continue to boost its strength as an effective opposition to recapture Putrajaya and Sabah. So we go as opposition and there should no more confusion about our party's direction," he said.

Meanwhile, Jainab said only six of the State Umno Wanita division chiefs have decided to leave the party while 15 division chiefs remained loyal to the party and four others still undecided.

She said the six were Wanita division chiefs for Kota Belud, Tuaran, Sipitang, Ranau, Beluran and Tawau. - Larry Ralon

Photo Source : Bernama



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