KOTA KINABALU, June 22 — Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi today denied allegations of factions within Sabah Umno, particularly among its leaders.

The deputy prime minister said on the contrary, Sabah Umno was now focused on uniting its leadership and strengthening its machinery, especially in preparation for the 17th Sabah state election.

He said it was time for Umno Sabah to abandon conventional election strategies and adopt new methods that can attract support, particularly from young voters.


“To me, if we had implemented this earlier and intensified our efforts, I am confident we could have changed the previously negative perceptions to positive ones...we are currently focusing on strengthening the Sabah Umno machinery.

“There is no division within Umno Sabah; Bung (Sabah Umno Chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin) had another programme to attend this morning,” he told reporters after officiating the Sepanggar Umno annual general meeting (AGM). Bung Moktar and Sepanggar Umno Division Chief Datuk Yakub Khan were also present.

Ahmad Zahid was referring to Bung Mokhtar’s absence at the Tuaran Umno division AGM here today which he (Ahmad Zahid) had officiated earlier in the morning.


Tuaran Umno is led by Sabah Umno deputy chief Datuk Seri Abdul Rahman Dahlan.

When asked about Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor’s attendance and their camaraderie at this morning’s event, Ahmad Zahid said the Chief Minister is an old friend from his time in the United Sabah National Organisation (Usno).

“My principle is that someone’s enemy is their enemy, and someone’s friend is my friend. Even though we may seem like strange bedfellows, we share a common dream,” he said.

He said all parties in the Unity Government must support the coalition, especially at the national level, and work together to resolve any state-level issues.

“I took a soft approach in Tuaran earlier. My principle is that we want to be friends with everyone. On cooperation for the state election, I will announce the decision when the time comes,” he said. — Bernama