Anwar says meeting Sabah leaders next week as state govt on brink of collapse

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

PETALING JAYA, Jan 7 — Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim said today he will meet political leaders from Sabah next week as the state leadership crisis drags on despite his earlier claim that everything is calm.

"God willing I will give special attention to the development [in Sabah] after I return from Jakarta,” he told reporters after chairing Pakatan Harapan (PH) presidential council meeting at PKR headquarters here.

Anwar is scheduled to visit Jakarta, Indonesia from tomorrow to Monday.

He said that he had talked to Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor while his deputy Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi did so with Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.

He said both of them are satisfied things are still in control.

"The situation is under control for a while and God willing we can make sure that state management is not affected and our priority is to take care of the economy and the interests of the people,” he said.

It was reported that Umno assemblymen led by Bung Moktar and Warisan led by Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal had joined forces to oust Hajiji, claiming he had lost his majority following the latter’s departure from Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia.

Earlier today, Shafie said the issue started when Hajiji publicly announced that he and his assemblymen were leaving Bersatu en masse to form a new party and become direct members of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition.

However, seven Sabah PH state assemblymen released a statement that they will support Hajiji, followed by five out of 17 Umno-Barisan Nasional counterparts.

The five, led by State Minister of Community Development and People's Wellbeing Datuk Ir Shahelmey Yahya also blamed the matter on Bung Mokhtar, calling for his resignation as Sabah Umno chief for trying to take down the legitimate Sabah government.

At the moment, Warisan has 19 seats, while Umno-BN has 17 seats, making the total of both 36 seats out of the 79 seats that are available now, including six seats for the Appointed Assemblyman.

That amount is not enough without the support of other parties, especially PH which has seven state assembly seats.

Meanwhile, GRS currently has 29 seats, 15 of which are former members of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (BERSATU), seven from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), six from Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and one from Parti Maju Sabah (SAPP).