We’re not behind political coup, says Sabah Umno

Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (right) with Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin (second from left) and other party members in Kota Kinabalu today.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin has dismissed speculations linking his party to the rumoured political coup against the Warisan-led government earlier this week.

“I’m firm on this. Sabah Umno was not behind it,” the Kinabatangan MP told reporters after a get-together with Umno president Ahmad Zahid Hamidi here today.

“I don’t know more about this but we are not behind it. What we are going to do is to strengthen the party by going for elections — that is the best way for Sabah Umno.”

There was intense speculation since Monday that a move was being engineered to unseat the 27-month-old state government led by Chief Minister Shafie Apdal by the opposition bloc here, comprising Umno, PPBM, STAR and PBS.

The said attempt, however, is said to have fizzled out after the opposition failed to secure enough support from assemblymen.

Meanwhile, Bung said Zahid was in town to rally party members and share with them the party’s direction on how to strengthen Umno to face the next general election.

‘Umno wants Labuan included as a district in Sabah’

At the same time, Bung said they also discussed the “new deal” for Sabahans, which they are aiming to include in their election manifesto in future.

He said the new deal will allow the state government and not the federal government to be totally responsible for all development in the state.

“We will only ask for allocations, for example, RM5 billion or RM10 billion. So, the federal government must give the funds in cash and we will place it in the state treasury.

“Secondly, all federal agencies in Sabah must be helmed by Sabahans.

“Thirdly, we want to take Labuan as one of the districts in Sabah,” Bung said.

“We will discuss more about other aspects but this new deal gives new hope for Sabahans and will be part of our election strategies.”

Asked on whether he thought a snap election will be called soon, he said it could happen anytime considering that the country needed political stability amid the economic uncertainties expected to continue next year.

“The next election is not scheduled for another three years, which is not that far away. There are certain factors why we feel an election is needed soon.

“The prospects of the world economy for 2021 do not look good. Coupled with the ending of the bank moratorium in September, this could cause further problems for the nation’s economy. So, an election could happen anytime.”