Backing Bung an insult to Sabah and Anwar, Zahid told

Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s backing of Bung Moktar Radin despite his failure to oust Sabah chief minister Hajiji Noor shows the Umno president is “desperate”, says a leader from the Bornean state.

(FMT) – “Umno’s influence is waning in Sabah, and this is worrying Zahid. At the same time he is under a lot of pressure in Umno,” said a Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) leader who declined to be named.

“He is desperate. He knows people are coming for the president’s post. He knows he cannot resist the pressure to allow contests for the top two Umno posts.”

The GRS leader said the fact remains that Hajiji enjoyed majority support of the assemblymen and had Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim’s blessings to continue as chief minister.

Last week, Bung, the Sabah Umno chief announced that the party was withdrawing support for Hajiji.

However, six Umno assemblymen pledged support for Hajiji, resulting in the failure of the ouster attempt by Bung, Warisan and Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia (KDM).

“You have to respect the decision of Sabahans. You also have to respect the prime minister’s endorsement of Hajiji.

“So, by backing Bung, you are insulting the people of Sabah and Anwar,” the GRS leader told FMT, referring to Zahid.

But the leader said he believed Zahid may be so focused on his survival in Umno that he was willing to back Bung despite the political cost.

Lee Kuok Tiung of Universiti Malaysia Sabah (UMS) meanwhile said Zahid’s endorsement of Bung will only encourage the former Sabah deputy chief minister to continue trying to oust Hajiji.

“It only prolongs the issue when it has been settled. I believe his endorsement of Bung is to gain Sabah’s Umno support should he be challenged for the presidency in Umno.”