KOTA KINABALU, Oct 5 — Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin today said that the coalition will work with Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) as a united front for the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).
Bung and GRS secretary Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun had both confirmed that there is a consensus to work together and that seat negotiations are almost complete.
“We are finalising seats sharing arrangements to ensure victory for our respective candidates,” said Masidi.
“We will make an announcement on seat distribution at the right time,” Bung said.
The two, who are part of the ruling state government, are ironing out details of their seat sharing formula between nine parties for the 25 Parliament seats in Sabah.
The agreement, which has yet to be announced publicly, puts an end to speculation that they will clash following fallouts at the national level.
Previously, they announced optimism about working together but conceded that they will have to see how situations pan out at the national level.
GRS comprises of five parties — the Sabah chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Sabah PPBM), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Solidarity Tanah Airku (Star), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and United Sabah National Organisation (Usno), while Sabah BN comprises of four parties — Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), MCA and MIC.
The pact between Barisan and GRS is expected to be strengthened against a fractured opposition — Parti Warisan led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Sabah Pakatan Harapan.
Warisan has severed ties with its former allies in PH and is currently engaged in a war of words with DAP.
In the 2018 general election, Warisan and Pakatan won 14 seats while Sabah Barisan parties won 10 seats and (then opposition) Sabah Star won one.
Currently, GRS has eight seats, followed by Warisan with seven, PH with five, BN with three, and Parti Bangsa Malaysia has one. The Batu Sapi parliament seat remains vacant following the death of Warisan’s Datuk V.K. Liew on October 2, 2020.