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Zahid says no Sabah polls pact until state assembly dissolved
Published on: Monday, January 08, 2024
By: FMT
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Zahid says no Sabah polls pact until state assembly dissolved
Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (left) and Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin at a meeting in Kota Kinabalu, Sabah, on Sunday. (Bernama pic)
PETALING JAYA: Umno will only decide on any electoral pact for the Sabah state elections after the state assembly is dissolved, says its president, Ahmad Zahid Hamidi.

Sinar Harian quoted Zahid as saying that Umno is open to reaching a pact with anyone who is ready to work with them for the state elections.

“The decision (on electoral alliances) will be made after the state assembly is dissolved,” the deputy prime minister told reporters in Kota Belud, Sabah, today.

However, the Barisan Nasional chairman said the “main priority” is to strengthen the unity government, both at the national and state level.

“BN and Pakatan Harapan’s relationship is very strong. Certainly, Upko will be with us if they’re willing. And I want to state that we are ready to work with any party, regardless of whether they’re big or small,” he said.

Zahid also said Sabah Umno has autonomy to decide on its alliances, though he must be informed on its decision, as the head of BN.

“We have given autonomy to (Sabah Umno) because that is enshrined in the Umno constitution. (This autonomy applies for) choosing election and chief minister candidates, too, but the Umno president or BN chairman must be informed.

“For now, they respect this decision and I appreciate (Sabah Umno chief) Bung Moktar Radin’s efforts to unite the party, all the way down to the grassroots.”

On Dec 14, Warisan president Shafie Apdal claimed Bung had agreed to an alliance to take on Hajiji Noor’s Gabungan Rakyat Sabah at the polls.

However, Sabah Umno deputy chief Rahman Dahlan later denied that there was such an agreement. He said Sabah Umno had yet to decide on an electoral alliance partnering with any party.

The term of the current Sabah government will expire in October 2025. However, Hajiji has hinted at the possibility of the next state elections being held as early as next year.

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