KOTA KINABALU: Sabah UMNO welcomed the autonomy given by the party’s supreme leadership.
State UMNO Liaison Committee Chairman, Datuk Seri Panglima Haji Hajiji Haji Noor, said the given autonomy is another milestone in the history of Sabah UMNO.
“It is the fruit of our struggles in Sabah UMNO and in line with our effort to reinvent Sabah UMNO. It will become “localised” through the given autonomy,” he said in a statement today.
UMNO President, Datuk Seri Dr. Ahmad Zahid Hamidi was reported today saying Sabah UMNO will stay put and be given autonomy to decide on party policies at the State-level free from any influence or decision at the central level.
He said an extraordinary meeting will be held soon to ensure the decision (on autonomy for Sabah UMNO) can be implemented.
“We have brought to the meeting held by a committee which had been formed and today we accept the memorandum from Sabah UMNO on the autonomy
“I will announce during the UMNO General Assembly something good for Sabah so the application get endorsement from the Supreme Council and we will also need to hold an extraordinary meeting and will put in the amendments to the constitution,” he said whem met after his close-door meeting with the State UMNO leaders at Sabah UMNO building here today.
UMNO Secretary-General, Tan Sri Annuar Musa, and other party supreme leaders were also present.
According to Zahid, the memorandum submitted by Sabah UMNO to him during the meeting also contained its wish to join the Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS).
Hajiji said the autonomy is important for the future survival of UMNO in the Semenanjung and also in Sabah.
“It is meant to help Sabah UMNO counter the manipulation by our opponents at the State-level which labelled Sabah UMNO as a “imported party” or ” Malaya party”,”he said.
He said with its autonomy, Sabah UMNO will decide on its own, including in choosing its top leader and so on.
Hajiji, who is also Sulaman Assemblyman, hopes friends in the opposition bloc understand the changes to take place in Sabah UMNO struggles following the given autonomy.
He said with the given autonomy, Sabah UMNO will decide on its own core struggles in line with the sentiments in Sabah.
“The community in Sabah has the tendency to want to be referred to with their respective race identity and not as “Malay”…so with its autonomi, Sabah UMNO has its very own core struggles to suit the sentiments in Sabah that is to fight for the rights and interests of the natives, bumiputeras and Sabah.-By LSK/BNN