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Friday, August 29, 2014

The 1MDB approach to human rights

By SSK

When we talk about human rights, most people equate human rights to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation, and whatnot. This is the limited scope of human rights from the understanding of most.

One thing common in the advocacy of human rights in most parts of the world is that the fight for human rights is confined to the more affluent societies. Societies that are being torn apart by civil strife have no time to stop and think about human rights. They are too busy just trying to stay alive.

This may be a bit unfair to say but you can afford to advocate human rights when your society already has everything. When you lack the basics required to sustain life and allow you quality of life, freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of religion, freedom of sexual orientation, and so on, are meaningless. All these do not put food on the table or allow your very sick child to reach adulthood.

What most advocates of human rights do not understand is that the right to education, or the right to a good education, plus the right to quality of life, also come under the ambit of human rights. To deny citizens an education or a good education, plus to deny them quality of life, is also a violation of their human rights.

We must not only look at human rights from the western perception. Societies that already have everything would definitely look at the issue of human rights from a more sophisticate level. Societies that still lack basic needs would have to look at the issue of human rights from the level of needs and not wants.

And there is a large difference between needs and wants.

After the need of food on the table, clothes on our backs, and a roof over our heads, we need education, quality of life, and to develop our youth who are the future of our nation. Societies that have degenerated into hell on earth are those that have neglected this very fundamental requirement.

The Malaysian government’s 1MDB programme is basically just this. The three main focuses of the 1MDB strategy are:

1. Education
2. Improving Quality of Life
3. Youth Development

The opposition, plus even some of those in government, appear opposed to the 1MDB programme. But have you noticed that most of those opposed to the 1MDB are those from the urban areas?

This means those who already have everything do not want the 1MDB. However, those from the rural areas, or from parts of Malaysia that are not as developed as the urban areas and big cities, welcome the 1MDB as the means to pull themselves out of the miserable state they live in.

Take the Ebola outbreak in Africa that is currently worrying the entire world. The UN WHO says that the problem they face is ignorance. It is due to ignorance and a lack of education that are the obstacles to the battle against Ebola.

Take the many civil wars that are going on in many parts of the world. This is also being blamed on ignorance, lack of education and poor opportunities for the youth due to lack of programmes to develop the youth.

Take any problem the world is facing and invariably it all points back to lack of education, lack of quality of life, and lack of youth development. Hence to ignore these issues is to invite civil strife in time to come when the country has a large neglected population whose needs have not been taken care of.

The 1MDB programme is a long-term programme meant to ensure that the youth have a place under the Malaysian sun. We must remember that Malaysia’s population is growing and that the majority are youths.
In 1970, Malaysia’s population was just 10 million. Today, it is 30 million, a tripling in just 40 years or so. 

By 2050, Malaysia is expected to have a population of 60 million or more and if by that time we have millions of Malaysians who have been left behind we cannot even imagine the explosive situation the country will face if the youth are not equipped to face the future properly prepared.

At the time of Merdeka, Malaysia had a large lower class with a small higher class. Today, Malaysia has a large middle class, so large that the middle class can be sub-divided into three categories: the upper-middle class, middle-middle class and lower-middle class.

While the upper-middle class is affluent enough to not need programmes such as 1MDB, and therefore oppose it, it is the lower- and middle-middle class that we need to be concerned about. And this is the category that 1MDB is addressing, before they feel that they are the ignored class and take by force what has been denied them.

As Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad said 30 years ago in 1982 when he addressed a group of businessmen at the Equatorial Hotel in Kuala Lumpur: we need to look after the poor so that the rich can live in peace and not face the risk of an unsatisfied poorer class who are jealous of the rich and take by force from the rich.

Maybe Dr Mahathir forgot what he said when he defended programmes such as the New Economic Policy that was meant to reduce the gap between the rich and the poor where one race is rich and the other one is poor.

And the 1MDB programme is not race-based because even Chinese schools are included in this programme.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

RUJUK KERAJAAN NEGERI BERKAITAN ISU TANAH: SALLEH

SALLEH


KOTA KINABALU: Timbalan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Sabah Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Tun Said berkata mana-mana pemimpin Barisan Nasional (BN) Persekutuan perlu merujuk kepada Kerajaan Negeri terlebih dahulu sebelum membuat sebarang kenyataan menyentuh isu yang terletak di bawah bidang kuasa negeri.

Beliau berkata ia penting untuk mendapat gambaran jelas terlebih dahulu mengenai sesuatu perkara bagi mengelak kekeliruan dan salah faham.

"Kita dalam keluarga besar BN ada saluran yang boleh digunakan. Pandangan semua pihak harus didengar terlebih dahulu.

"Isu tanah adalah dalam bidang kuasa kerajaan negeri dan ia perkara sensitif bagi rakyat negeri ini," katanya ditemui selepas mengadakan jamuan Aidilfitri untuk kakitangan Dewan Undangan Negeri di sini hari ini.

Salleh yang juga Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Sabah merujuk kenyataan Naib Presiden Umno Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi di Tenom baru-baru ini berkaitan isu tanah, yang kemudiannya mencetuskan rasa tidak senang dan kontroversi di kalangan rakyat negeri ini.

Beliau berkata mana-mana pihak tidak seharusnya membuat kenyataan spontan tanpa usul-periksa, apatah lagi jika isu yang disentuh itu dalam bidang kuasa kerajaan negeri.

"Rujuk dan dapatkan gambaran sebenar daripada kerajaan negeri untuk elak kekeliruan, jangan sampai kenyataan itu melukakan hati orang Sabah.

"Dalam isu tanah ini, kerajaan negeri di bawah pimpinan Ketua Menteri Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Hj Aman sememangnya mengambil pelbagai langkah dan usaha menanganinya, malahan tindakan proaktif sudah pun diambil," katanya.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

How would Dr Mahathir like to be remembered?

By SSK

After Tun Hussein Onn retired as Malaysia’s Prime Minister in 1981, he did not interfere in the running of the country. Instead, he focused on his job as the Chairman of the Malaysian Association for the Blind (MAB) and planned the setting up of an eye hospital, something Malaysia did not have yet at that time.

Tun Hussein launched a donation drive to raise the millions required for such an eye hospital and, six years later on 21st March 1987, His Royal Highness the late Sultan of Selangor officially launched the Tun Hussein Onn Eye Hospital that had already opened its doors exactly one year earlier (on 22nd March 1986).
TUN MAHATHIR

That period, the mid-1980s, was also known as the period of the Constitutional Crisis when Tun Dr Mahathir Mohammad launched his attack on the monarchy. Road shows were organised and the TV stations and mainstream media launched attack after attack on the rulers.

The attacks were so severe and so vicious that most Malaysians were very sure that this was the beginning of the end for Malaysia’s constitutional monarchy and before long the Republic of Malaysia would emerge, just like Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines, our immediate neighbours.

Tun Hussein was quite distressed with what he considered airing Malay dirty linen in public. If Malays do not respect their Raja-raja Melayu, how can we expect the non-Malays to do so? And if the non-Malays were to show the same disrespect to the rulers as the Malays were doing, the Malays would threaten them with another ‘May 13’.

However, as much as Tun Hussein did not agree with what Tun Dr Mahathir was doing, he did not publicly attack the Prime Minister. He kept his opinions to himself and spoke to only his very close and personal friends, and even then only if asked his opinion regarding the Constitutional Crisis.

Tun Dr Mahathir was the Prime Minister. So Tun Hussein kept his mouth shut and his opinions to himself. He did not ridicule Tun Dr Mahathir in public even when he thought the Prime Minister was wrong and should not be doing what he was doing.

The reason for this is quite simple. Tun Hussein felt it was not proper for him to undermine his successor.

The fact that Tun Hussein did not sign up as a member of Umno Baru after the dissolution of the ‘old’ Umno and that he invited the Sultan to officiate the launching of his eye hospital, at a time when most would keep their distance from the rulers, was enough of a message as far as Tun Hussein was concerned, and a very subtle message at that.

Tun Hussein was a statesman and a very regimented and disciplined person on top of it. This was due to his military upbringing. He commanded as much respect as a retired prime minister as he did as a sitting prime minister. Once retired, he spent all his time talking about his eye hospital and in raising money to make his aspiration come true.

Many are of the opinion that Tun Hussein will be remember for what he did as a retired prime minister as what he did as a sitting prime minister, not because he was not a good prime minister but because he was an even greater retired prime minister, mainly due to his legacy, his most successful eye hospital.

Tun Dr Mahathir should try to emulate Tun Hussein. After all, Tun Dr Mahathir has his Perdana Leadership Foundation, just like Tun Hussein had his eye hospital. Tun Dr Mahathir should focus on that so that his legacy will be remembered for a long time after he has gone.

It will be very sad if Tun Dr Mahathir is remembered as the ex-prime minister who brought down two of his successors and three of his deputy prime ministers -- Musa Hitam, Ghafar Baba and Anwar Ibrahim. Those are not what one should be remembered for.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

TUN DR MAHATHIR HILANG ARAH REALITI EKONOMI NEGARA

Oleh SSK 

Hari ini, selepas menyepi beberapa bulan, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad sekali lagi mengecam kepimpinan Perdana Menteri Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak. Salah satu intipati kritikan itu ialah dakwaan keterbergantungan negara kepada import.
NAJIB

Dalam tempoh 12 bulan yang lepas, import Malaysia dianggarkan bernilai antara RM48 dan RM59 bilion manakala nilai eksport menjangkau RM67 bilion. Selama bertahun-tahun, eksport negara ini melebihi  import.

Bagaimana pula keadaan ini diterjemahkan kepada keterbergantungan kepada import?

Satu perkara yang kita perlu terima ialah kita tidak boleh mengharapkan negara-negara lain untuk membeli dari kita jika kita pun tidak membeli dari mereka. Tidak ada satu negara di dunia yang mengeksport tanpa mengimport. Kita perlu pastikan yang kita jual melebihi apa yang kita beli, dan inilah apa yang Malaysia lakukan.

Bagaimana kita mengurangkan import? Dengan meningkatkan cukai ke atas import? Jika kita menaikkan cukai ke atas import maka negara-negara lain akan "membalas" dengan meningkatkan cukai ke atas import barangan Malaysia ke negara mereka, sekali gus menjadikan barangan Malaysia tidak kompetitif.

Tambahan pula, tidak kah kenaikan cukai import ini membebankan lagi pengguna Malaysia yang

mungkin menyebabkan mereka mengalihkan sokongan terhadap kerajaan? Bagaimana Barisan Nasional (BN) boleh mencapai keputusan yang lebih baik pada pilihan raya umum akan datang jika semua pengundi marah dengan kenaikan cukai barangan dan perkhidmatan yang diimport?

Satu daripada rungutan utama pembayar cukai ialah lebuh raya bertol,terutama di Selangor yang merupakan kubu kuat pembangkang. Maka ada baiknya kita berbicara tentang isu tersebut yang jelas sekali dieksploitasi oleh pembangkang untuk kepentingan politik.

Rakyat negara ini tidak mahu membayar tol di lebuh raya yang mereka gunakan. Rata-rata mereka mahu lebuh raya bebas tol seperti yang dinikmati oleh rakyat di United Kingdom di mana mereka boleh memandu dari Dover ke Scotland tanpa membayar sesen pun.

Adakah ini yang Najib harus lakukan, memansuhkan bayaran tol di lebuh raya? Siapakah yang akan membayar kos untuk membina dan menyelenggara lebuh raya? Siapakah yang akan membayar balik kepada syarikat swasta yang membelanjakan berbilion-bilion untuk membina lebuh raya? Adakah kerajaan yang membayar?

Jika kerajaan memberi pampasan kepada syarikat konsesi lebuh raya bagi membolehkan orang ramai menggunakan atau memandu di lebuh raya yang bebas tol atau percuma. Adakah ini bermakna kerajaan akan membelanjakan wang ringgit yang banyak? Bukankah ini yang Dr Mahathir kecewa...wang kerajaan yang banyak dibelanjakan (untuk tujuan itu)?

Apa yang jelas ialah penswastaan lebuh raya dan membenarkan syarikat-syarikat swasta membina lebuh raya dan seterusnya mengutip tol merupakan idea yang Dr Mahathir sendiri ilhamkan. Alasannya ialah untuk mengelak kerajaan membelanjakan wang dan sebaliknya mengharap orang-orang yang mahu menggunakan lebuh raya membayarnya.

Jadi adakah Dr Mahathir sekarang mengatakan beliau melakukan kesilapan?

Dr Mahathir berkata rakyat perlu mengkritik pemimpin mereka. Dr Mahathir menegaskan beliau pernah mengkritik pemimpin lampau negara sejak zaman pemerintahan Tunku hinggalah zaman Pak Lah. Itu mungkin benar tetapi keadaan waktu itu berbeza.

Dr Mahathir mengkritik Tunku kerana dia terlalu 'lembut' kepada orang Cina. Begitulah ungkapan Dr Mahathir pada ketika itu yang terkandung dalam surat yang ditulisnya kepada Tunku, yang mengakibatkan Dr Mahathir dipecat dari UMNO. Tidak lama selepas pilihan raya umum Mei tahun lepas, Dr Mahathir mengajukan perkara yang sama terhadap Najib.

Adakah kita sekarang kembali ke era politik "13 Mei" yang dilihat sebagai isu yang terlalu perkauman? Ini tidak lagi sepatutnya dilihat sebagai isu perbalahan antara orang Melayu dan Cina kerana ia tidak akan membantu BN sedikitpun melainkan Umno mahu meninggalkan BN dan bertanding sendirian pilihan raya umum yang akan datang.

Secara bersendirian, Umno tidak mungkin dapat membentuk kerajaan dan kita semua tahu perkara ini. Umno memerlukan sokong bukan Melayu untuk berkuasa. Ini adalah satu realiti yang perlu kita terima. Umno tidak boleh menggangu ketenteraman bukan Melayu terutama di Sabah dan Sarawak. Umno seharusnya memujuk atau melayan dengan baik orang bukan Melayu kerana ini satu-satunya cara Umno boleh kekal berkuasa.

Pada pilihan raya umum tahun 2004, BN mencatatkan kemenangan cemerlang dalam sejarah politik negara. Tiada Perdana Menteri yang pernah memenangi pilihan raya dengan majoriti sebaik itu sejak Merdeka. Namun Dr Mahathir masih tidak gembira atau berpuas hati dengan Pak Lah, dan pada tahun 2006 beliau memulakan kecaman terhadap Perdana Menteri pada ketika itu yang akhirnya menyaksikan BN mencapai keputusan paling buruk dalam pilihan raya umum 2008.

Sama ada suka atau tidak, lebih daripada 70 peratus pengundi lahir selepas Merdeka atau selepas 13 Mei 1969. Kini rakyat Malaysia yang berumur 10 tahun pun tahu menggunakan internet dan mempunyai akaun Facebook, Twitter dan Instagram mereka sendiri. Ini bukan lagi rakyat Malaysia bermentaliti tahun 1950-an atau 1960-an.

Oleh itu, kita tidak boleh menggunakan strategi politik tahun 1950-an atau 1960-an untuk memenangi hati dan fikiran mereka. Najib tahu perubahan ini namun Dr Mahathir masih kelihatan berpegang strategi lapuk itu. Jadi, biarkan Najib membereskan tugas yang diamanahkan kepadanya. Najib serba mengetahui apa yang muda mahu dan tahu bahawa golongan muda bakal penentu siapa yang membentuk kerajaan pada masa akan datang.

Kita seharusnya merenung perkara ini daripada sudut positif atau bersedia kehilangan kerajaan sedia ada pada pilihan raya umum yang akan datang.


Tuesday, August 19, 2014

SKMM, PDRM DIMINTA PANTAU GERAKAN HASUT RAKYAT SABAH

GIMIK PELANCARAN TABUNG AMAN PALESTIN
KOTA KINABALU: Suruhanjaya Komunikasi dan Multimedia Malaysia (SKMM) dan Polis Diraja Malaysia (PDRM) diminta memantau dan mengambil tindakan tegas terhadap individu dan kumpulan tertentu yang membuat kenyataan berbaur hasutan menerusi laman sosial, termasuk mengajak rakyat untuk Sabah keluar Malaysia.

Speaker Dewan Undangan Negeri Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Tun Said berkata terdapat fahaman ekstrem itu amat berbahaya dan boleh mengugat kestabilan dan keamanan negara.

"Mereka menghasut dengan mengajak untuk kibarkan bendera Sabah saja dan tidak Malaysia, mempersoalkan kontrak pembentukan Malaysia, dan mahu membawa isu Sabah ke Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu.

"Semua ini akan menanamkan semangat benci dan memberontak serta khianat kepada negara. Ia harus dibanteras segera dengan undang-undang sedia ada. Keadaan ini sangat bahaya dan perlu dibendung dari awal agar ia tidak menyusahkan pada masa hadapan.

"Tidak salah untuk memperjuangkan hak-hak Sabah dalam konteks hubungan negeri dan Persekutuan melalui proses persaingan politik. PDRM khususnya harus memberi perhatian serius kerana ada undang-undang yang seharusnya dikuatkuasakan," katanya kepada pemberita selepas menghadiri Majlis Rumah Terbuka Aidilifitri Jabatan Penerangan Sabah, di sini kelmarin.

Salleh yang juga Timbalan Pengerusi Badan Perhubungan Umno Sabah menegaskan individu dan kumpulan yang dilihat aktif di laman-laman sosial membawa slogan-slogan yang akhirnya boleh memecahbelahkan Sabah.

"Contohnya, mereka mengutarakan konsep 'self-determination' yang mana ia menjurus kepada memerdekakan Sabah...mereka juga mempersoalkan pembentukan Malaysia dengan mengatakan Malaysia tidak wujud selepas Singapura meninggalkan Malaysia.

"Isu-isu ini sangat bahaya sekiranya tidak dibendung kerana pada saya menuntut hak buat Sabah adalah berbeza dengan menuntut kemerdekaan.

"Soal autonomi dan kemerdekaan juga adalah dua perkara yang berbeza. Saya melihat kumpulan ini sangat ekstrem dan jika tidak ditangani lebih awal ia boleh membahayakan kestabilan politik negara," katanya.

Salleh menganggap individu dan kumpulan itu sebagai pengkhianat negara dan tindakan tegas perlu diambil terhadap mereka agar ia tidak berkembang sehingga rakyat yang tidak faham keliru dengan kenyataan barbaur hasutan itu.

Menurutnya, ada juga dalam kalangan individu menyatakan di laman sosial Facebook agar tidak mengibarkan bendera Malaysia sebaliknya kibarkan bendera Sabah sahaja. Keadaan itu sudah menunjukkan satu penderhakaan terhadap negara.

"Hakikatnya, kita bersetuju 31 Ogos adalah Hari Merdeka dan bersetuju 16 September adalah Hari Malaysia.

"Penjelasan awal perlu diberikan agar rakyat tidak keliru khususnya generasi muda yang kurang memberi perhatian kepada sejarah kerana sekiranya mereka terpengaruh dan tertanamnya semangat memberontak, ini sudah tentu membahayakan," katanya.

Beliau berkata, kalau berbeza pendapat, pendapat Sabah perlu diberi keutamaan dan menuntut hak Sabah itu adalah tidak salah kerana ia adalah dalam lingkungan setiap orang berpolitik tetapi janganlah sampai tahap mahu memerdekakan Sabah.

Sementara itu, Salleh berkata beberapa bahagian Umno telah mengadakan mesyuarat perwakilan masing-masing dan semuanya berjalan dengan baik.

"Ini menunjukkan kematangan ahli Umno di semua peringkat dan kematangan ini sudah pasti akan mengukuhkan lagi Umno di Sabah sekali gus menguatkan pentadbiran kerajaan di samping menjelaskan dasar kerajaan kepada rakyat.

"Saya lihat usul-usul yang dicadangkan juga memberikan manfaat kepada Sabah dan Malaysia secara keseluruhannya.

"Contohnya, Kota Belud telah meluluskan usul perpaduan sebagai asas kepada keharmonian...ini penting kerana ia mengingatkan kita perpaduan itu adalah teras di negara ini," katanya.

Monday, August 18, 2014

TUN DR MAHATHIR HAS LOST TRACK OF THE ECONOMIC REALITIES

NAJIB
By SSK

Today, after remaining quiet for some months, Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad launched another broadside against Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak. One of the criticisms against the Prime Minister is the country’s alleged over-dependence on imports.

Over the last 12 months, Malaysia’s imports ranged from RM48-59 billion while its exports ranged from RM61-67 billion. For years, Malaysia’s exports have exceeded its imports. How is this translated into over-dependence on imports?

One thing we have to accept is we cannot expect other countries to buy from us if we do not also buy from them. There is not a country in the world that exports without importing. We need to just make sure that we sell more than we buy. And this is what Malaysia is doing.

How do we reduce imports? By increasing the tax on imports? If we increase the tax on imports then other countries will reciprocate by increasing the tax on imports of Malaysian goods into their country as well. And this will make Malaysian goods uncompetitive.

Furthermore, won’t this increase in import tax burden the Malaysian consumer even more and probably cause a backlash on the government? How can Barisan Nasional be expected to perform better in the next general election if all the voters are angry about this increase in tax of imported goods and services?

One of the major grouses of the taxpayers is tolled highways, especially in Selangor, which is an opposition stronghold. So let us talk about that, an issue the opposition has managed to exploit to its advantage.

MAHATHIR

Malaysians do not want to pay toll on the highways they use. They want the highways to be free like, say, in the UK, where you can drive from Dover to the tip of Scotland without paying a single penny.

Is this what Najib should do, abolish toll charges on the highways? Who, then, is going to pay for the cost to build and maintain those highways? Who then is going to reimburse the private companies that spent billions building those highways? The government?

If the government compensates those highway concessionaires for allowing the public to drive on those highways free-of-charge, would this not just mean the government is going to spend more money? And is this not what Dr Mahathir is upset about, the money the government is spending?

Anyway, the privatisation of highways and allowing private companies to build highways and collect toll was an idea that Dr Mahathir himself mooted. And the reason for this is to avoid the government having to spend the money and make those who want to use the highways pay for it.

So is Dr Mahathir now saying he was wrong?

Dr Mahathir says that the people must criticise its leaders. He says he criticised the leaders in the past from the Tunku right up to Pak Lah. That may be true. But the circumstances were different.

Dr Mahathir criticised the Tunku because he was too ‘soft’ towards the Chinese, so said Dr Mahathir at that time in the letters he wrote to the Tunku, which got him sacked from Umno. Soon after the May 2013 general election, Dr Mahathir said the same thing about Najib.

Are we now going back to “May 13” era politics where the issue becomes racial? This should no longer be seen as Malays versus Chinese. That will not help Barisan Nasional one bit unless Umno wants to leave Barisan Nasional and contest the next general elections on its own.

On its own, Umno will never be able to form the government and we all know that. Umno is in power because of the non-Malays. And that is a reality we must accept. Umno should not be antagonising the non-Malays, especially those in Sabah and Sarawak. Umno should be trying to court the non-Malays because that is the only way it can remain in power.

In 2004, Barisan Nasional performed the best in its history. No Prime Minister has ever won an election with that type of majority since Merdeka. But then Dr Mahathir was still not happy with Pak Lah and in 2006 he launched an attack on the Prime Minister. And this resulted in the 2008 election disaster for Barisan Nasional.

Like it or not, more than 70% of the voters were born after Merdeka or after 13 May 1969. Even 10-year old Malaysians are internet-savvy and have their own Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and whatnot. These are not Malaysians with the mentality of the 1950s or 1960s.

So we cannot use 1950s or 1960s political strategies to win their hearts and minds. Najib knows this very well. Apparently Dr Mahathir does not. So just leave Najib alone to do his job. He knows what the young want and he knows that the young are going to determine who gets to form the next government.

You have better believe this or else be ready to lose the government in the next general election!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

SABAH UMNO IS UNIQUE, DIFFERENT FROM THE PENINSULA -- SALLEH



KOTA BELUD; Sabah Umno can only be managed by leaders, with the Sabah people's aspirations at heart, because it has its own uniqueness, said Sabah Umno liaison deputy chairman Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Salleh Tun Said Keruak. 

He said Sabah Umno has a different history, and the environment as well as issues in this state is not the same as in the peninsula.

However, he said, with the support of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak as party president who always understands the aspirations and desires of the people of Sabah, Sabah Umno is believed to be able to survive and remain relevant all the time. 

"Sabah Umno can not be equated with Umno in other states. Here, not all members are Muslims as in peninsula Malaysia. We have UMNO members who go to church (Christians), members with no religion (pagans), who celebrate Christmas and` "Aramaiti' , but all of them are united and respectful.  They can even eat and sit together at social gatherings, " he said. 

Salleh was speaking at the closing ceremony of Kota Belud Umno delegates meeting, Hari Raya celebration of the elected people's representatives (wakil rakyat) and Kota Belud Umno, here today. 

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Musa Haji Aman officiated the ceremony. 

Salleh, who is also State Legislative Assembly Speaker, said Umno turned into a new platform for the natives or Bumiputera in Sabah, and had brought many changes in the socio-political and development dimensions. 

"Most importantly, Sabah Umno leaders at all levels always practise consensus, not fragmanted, not a culture of back-stabbing politics or playing a double game, and instead prioritise the organisation and its struggle based on loyalty, " he said. 

Salleh, who is also Kota Belud Umno division chief, likened the political struggles to that of a train with only a head in front. 

"Kota Belud upholds the principle of  "having only one leader" (berketua satu) since time immemorial until now, and this is the key to its strength," he said.