After allying itself with Pakatan, Hajiji says GRS' future with Perikatan uncertain

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Nov 25 — The future of Sabah-based Gabungan Rakyat Sabah’s (GRS) alliance with Perikatan Nasional (PN) is unclear after the former’s decision to align with Pakatan Harapan (PH) to form the federal government.

Its chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said that the Sabah coalition made the decision to support PH for the benefit of the state and believed that PN chairman Tan Sri Muhyiddin understands the reason for their shift of allegiance.

“We were thinking about the interests of Sabah. Under GRS, we have to give priority to Sabah.

“So I feel that Tan Sri knows this. He is a wise man, I think we won’t have issues because this was a GRS decision,” said Hajiji, who is also state Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman.

He did not elaborate on whether the state Bersatu would continue to be with PN.

The relationship between the national and Sabah coalition is complex due to the overlap of three of its members.

Sabah Bersatu, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) are components of both PN and GRS. GRS also has two other components — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and United Sabah National Organisation (Usno).

STAR president Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan however said that they were likely to part ways “soon” given the change in direction of GRS and PN.

“We support the unity government and we are part of it. They are not. So we are on different paths. We will be with GRS,” he said.

However, he declined to confirm whether STAR would officially pull out of the PN, only to say that they were now “irrelevant” and would just be “absent from meetings”.

“Time will tell, let’s let things cool down first. Once settled, then we will see,” he said.

Hajiji’s GRS won six out of 25 seats in the recent elections. They had on Monday put their weight behind PN to form a government and made up part of the 115 statutory declarations that PN used to claim majority support in Parliament.

However, it had on Thursday said it would concede with the King’s advice to form a unity government with the coalition that won the most seats, which was PH.