Harris Salleh Says Umno Must Go Back To The Era of Tunku Abdul Rahman If It wants To Stay Relevant

Posted: December 14, 2008 in Harris Salleh, Malaysia, Malaysian Politics, North Borneo, Sabah, Sabah Politics, Sabah UMNO, UMNO

Datuk Harris bin Mohd Salleh, was the 6th Chief Minister of the state of Sabah. He was the president for Parti Berjaya. He held the Chief Minister’s post from 1976 to 1985. During his tenure, he was known to have controversially ceded the island of Labuan, which used to be part of Sabah, to the Federal Government, making it the second Federal Territory in the country. He owned big chunks of land in Labuan and many would say his giving up of  Labuan to the Feds was his major reason for his downfall.

See what he got to say about Umno during an interview yesterday.

“Umno must revert to its original 1946 Constitution and allow an open contest by any member without having to obtain nomination quotas for positions in the party’s Supreme Council”  said Harris. 

“Umno must go back to the era of Tunku Abdul Rahman when there was complete openness in the party as well as the Government. Most important of all, the present practice of awarding contracts or licences through direct negotiations or based on favouritism must be removed and totally eradicated,” he said.

Harris said Umno must reinvent and restructure itself in order to overcome corruption, which is among the main challenges faced by the party today.

He suggested that elections to all levels of positions in the Umno hierarchy be open to all contenders and not be subject to nominations by divisions to fulfil quota requirements.

“The President and Deputy President are to be elected directly by all the three million registered members,” he said.

Harris said the Government should also raise the monthly allowances of state assemblymen to RM24,000 with a guaranteed bonus of RM500,000 for every term completed and similarly RM36,000 with bonus of RM1 million for Members of Parliament.

He further suggested that the Government establish a special fund from which payments or contributions of RM10 per year are made to all political parties based on their audited registered membership.

It means that Umno with three million members would receive about RM30 million a year that should be used for general administrative costs and party machinery.

Corruption can be countered and eliminated by giving across-the-board salary increments of between 30 per cent and 50 per cent to all Government servants with a minimum salary of RM1,500 for an office boy.

Introducing open tenders for all projects, licenses and other forms of undertakings as well as improving delivery system, he said.

For the restructuring exercise of Umno, Harris said for it to materialise Umno need to have only three wings namely, the main or umbrella Umno under which all men and women members fall, Pemuda Umno (Youth) to change its name to Putera Umno and Puteri Umno to be retained while Wanita Umno is to be dissolved.

“This way is cleaner and will reduce the costs of maintaining and running the party. By putting men and women in the umbrella body, there will be a brighter opportunities to succeed to the top three tiers of Umno hierarchy as well as membership in the supreme council.

Harris hoped the new Umno leadership would seriously look at and consider implementing the above proposals as soon as possible.

“Malaysians expect and demand that the culture of money politics must not only be changed by completely eradicated.

It is only through this change will be a brighter future be created that every Malaysian can look forward to with great pride,” he said.

  1. Joshua Kong says:

    What more to say except that any race or religion based party is illegal and null and void the Federal Constitution…
    as it is always fighting with other groups to bring disarray to the nation.

    UMNO is only fit as a social group for their own race…not a ruling party…lest profligacy is unsustainable…


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