KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno Youth has rubbished talk of the new opposition bloc Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) sounding the death knell for Umno in the state.
Its chief Abdul Aziz Julkarnain said while Sabah Umno was in the midst of picking itself up following the disastrous showing in the last election, it remained united.
“Talk about Umno being disbanded is not true at all – we are still here. If there was such a suggestion, it came from outside the party and not from the mouth of Umno members themselves.
“The only ones who can say (such a matter is happening) are Umno leaders with authority to say so. I can confirm that it is just talk,” he said here today.
Political analysts had earlier suggested that the formation of GBS, a coalition of opposition parties, might be the prelude to the end of Umno.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Jeffrey Kitingan said Barisan Nasional in Sabah would make an exit after GBS, which, besides his party and Umno consists of PBS and independent assemblymen, was officially registered.
Aziz said the members of GBS, aside from STAR, were no strangers to each other, adding it was a rebranding of the old BN coalition.
“The difference when compared with BN is that this bloc will not be tied to any power in the peninsula because the pact is more localised.
“We have to understand that in politics the dynamics can always change. (For example) it would never have crossed anybody’s minds that (Prime Minister) Dr Mahathir Mohamad could ever work with (DAP supremo) Lim Kit Siang. But look at it now?”
He said GBS was a fruition of the people’s desire, which was to see more local-based parties rising to the top, adding this was also the case with Gabungan Parti Sarawak (GPS).
Aziz said those in GBS hoped it would be a starting point to wrest back the state in the next general election, adding that in the new political landscape, no party could stand on its own, including those from Pakatan Harapan.
“Let’s say if one of the parties in PH leaves the pact tomorrow, we will have a new government. So no one can survive on their own including Umno, PBS, STAR and any other party,” he said.
He acknowledged that with a new pact, every party would fight to defend its interest but that it should be united by a single common goal.
“We have to combine our own unique strengths and carry the people’s voice. If we falter, how can we win GE15?”
On getting support from youths, Aziz said: “We have identified that the young have a tendency to support the opposition, and now we are the opposition. We just need to find that common ground to connect.”
He said PH had made all sort of promises to woo voters, especially the younger ones, but was now struggling to keep those pledges.
“Of course there are young supporters of PH but there are more who threw their support because of PH’s promises.
“Let’s be honest – who doesn’t drool when you are promised that your National Higher Education Fund Corporation (PTPTN) loans will be wiped out, especially those who are blacklisted? And also promises that the fuel prices will go down?” Aziz asked.
“Not only were the young swayed but also others who were fooled by these promises. Although the manifesto is not the bible but a promise is a promise made to the people. The government has to deliver, otherwise it has no integrity.”