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.