UMNO President: UMNO is a National Party Fighting for All Malaysians, Not Just a Malayan Party

UMNO aims to expand beyond Peninsular Malaysia, with Zahid confident of party's success in Sabah by mid-2024, citing unity and addressing local issues.

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Nasiru Eneji Abdulrasheed
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UMNO President: UMNO is a National Party Fighting for All Malaysians, Not Just a Malayan Party

UMNO President: UMNO is a National Party Fighting for All Malaysians, Not Just a Malayan Party

UMNO President Ahmad Zahid Hamidi has stressed that UMNO is a national party that fights for the welfare of people across Malaysia, including in Sabah, and not just a 'Malayan' party. In his remarks, Zahid stated that the effort to bring UMNO into Sabah was not to divide the parties in Sabah, Sarawak, or the Peninsula, but to unite the people of Malaysia under one common banner.

Zahid mentioned that the late Tun Datu Mustapha Datu Harun, who was also the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) president, advocated for a unity of spirit among the people of Sabah, Sarawak, and the Peninsula. "The demands and preferences of the people of Sabah were taken into account when UMNO was established in Sabah," Zahid said, recalling his own role as the UMNO Youth Information chief in distributing membership forms in Sabah.

Despite the challenges UMNO has faced in Sabah since 2018, including the departure of 13 assemblymen and 21 division chiefs, Zahid praised the loyalty of Sabah UMNO leadership, especially its chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin. He expressed confidence that UMNO's success in Sabah, combined with the unity of the people of Sabah, especially the indigenous and Bumiputera communities, will lead to victory for the party, potentially by mid-year or at the latest by next year.

Why this matters: UMNO's efforts to establish itself as a truly national party, extending its influence beyond its traditional Malay-majority strongholds in Peninsular Malaysia, could have significant implications for the country's political landscape. The party's success in Sabah could reshape alliances and power dynamics at both the state and federal levels.

Zahid also highlighted the MADANI government's commitment to addressing the hardships faced by the people in Sabah, particularly in terms of socioeconomic poverty and infrastructure improvements. He emphasized the need for more young people in Sabah to be exposed to technical and vocational education and training (TVET) to meet the demand for skilled manpower from foreign and domestic investors.

Key Takeaways

  • UMNO aims to be a national party, not just Malayan-based
  • UMNO seeks to unite Malaysians under one common banner
  • UMNO confident of success in Sabah, despite recent challenges
  • MADANI govt committed to addressing Sabah's socioeconomic issues
  • UMNO emphasizes the need for TVET to meet skilled workforce demand