GRS parties reaffirm support for Hajiji, say Sabah BN’s move has no effect on state leadership

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 7 — The leaders of four parties — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR), Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) — have stressed that their members still support Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor as Sabah chief minister.

Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan, Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee and Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia said that their parties, which are part of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition, still maintain a comfortable majority of state assemblymen to maintain power.

“This solid commitment is centred on the realisation that the interests of the people and the state should be prioritised over the narrow interests of the party and individuals,” they said in a joint statement today.

“It is everyone’s responsibility to respect the people’s mandate in the last state election.

“Any move to form the government from the back door and not through the election process is an act that betrays the people’s mandate and should be rejected.”

They then reiterated that GRS has the largest number of assemblymen in the Sabah state assembly, and that the withdrawal of support by Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) is inconsequential.

They also thanked the “majority” of other assemblymen who continue to back Hajiji, supposedly from Pakatan Harapan (PH), Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah.

Yesterday, Sabah BN chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin announced that his coalition no longer supports Hajiji as chief minister and has ended their alliance with GRS.

The two had forged an electoral pact for the 2020 state polls, and again, for the general election last November. GRS was under the Perikatan Nasional (PN) umbrella at the time.

But Bung later said that Hajiji had broken their deal by sacking Umno state assemblyman Datuk Salleh Said Keruak as Qhazanah Berhad chairman and threatened Umno with a reshuffle.

He also said that by leaving Bersatu, Hajiji had nullified their pact, which was originally with Perikatan Nasional (PN).

However, some Umno assemblymen, such as Datuk Shahelmey Yahya, have said they are against the move and have declared support for Hajiji.