UMNO, Warisan, KDM, and PBRS participate in town hall sessions in a show of unity ahead of the crucial upcoming state election

KOTA KINABALU: In a show of unity ahead of the crucial upcoming state election, four parties—UMNO, Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan), Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), and Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia (KDM)—participated in a town hall session here on Sunday.


The town hall session, organised in conjunction with the Sabah UMNO Information Retreat, was moderated by Sabah UMNO Strategic Communications Director Datu Rosman Datuk Ahir Zaman.

Along with Sabah UMNO Information Chief Datuk Suhaimi Nasir, other panellists at the town hall session included Warisan Information Chief Datuk Ajis Jamman, PBRS Information Chief Datuk Fredie Sua, and KDM Information Chief Dr. Oswald Aisat Igau.

Suhaimi, meanwhile, called the claim made by netizens and other parties that Sabah UMNO is a national party a manipulation of the issue.

He pointed out that UMNO Sabah’s leadership is entirely made up of Sabahans, with no leaders from the peninsula since the organisation’s 1992 entry into Sabah.

In 2018, he said Sabah UMNO’s request for autonomous powers to handle party policy matters in Sabah was granted by Central UMNO.

“Ultimately, Sabah UMNO can make its own decisions without referring to Central UMNO. So I see Sabah UMNO as the same as local parties because the leaders are Sabahans.
“I am from Libaran, not Mersing, Johor..” So that means there is no issue with the local party. Certain people, netizens, are trying to manipulate this national party issue,” he said at the Sabah UMNO Information Retreat Townhall Session.

Suhaimi, who is also a Member of Parliament for Libaran, also touched on the status of UMNO, which is a coalition party in the Federal Unity Government and should be in line with the State Government.

He said that in the past, UMNO Sabah was part of the state government but withdrew due to a lack of sincerity in the coalition of parties in the state government at that time, and eventually there was a split.

“That’s why leadership is most important if there is no sincerity in leadership. Then the problem of corruption, cronyism, nepotism may crop up.

“But if there is sincerity in leading the government and the party, God willing, what we do and what we do for the people of Sabah will achieve our true goals,” he said.

Therefore, he reminded UMNO party members that when there is a national party vs. local party narrative, it is just a game of netizens or other parties.

Suhaimi, who is also the Head of UMNO Libaran Division, emphasised the importance of sincerity in the leadership of the party in leading the state and the country.

“No matter what we do, if there is no sincerity as a backbone, eventually there will be division not only in the coalition but also in the government,” he explained.

Answering the audience’s questions about Sabah UMNO’s alliance with other parties in the upcoming state election, Suhaimi said any cooperation or alliance with other parties should be decided by Sabah UMNO’s top leadership.

“Sabah UMNO will make its own decision, and we have to make a political decision,” he said.

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