KOTA KINABALU, Oct 7 — Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) central youth chief Shahrun Nidzam Sharoom today said that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition is still considering its options of working with Parti Warisan.
He was commenting on Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi’s recent statement that GRS will support Barisan Nasional candidates in the upcoming 15th general election (GE15).
Shahrun said it was presumptuous of Ahmad Zahid to make such a statement when negotiations between the parties are still ongoing and no consensus had been reached yet.
“His statement that GRS will support the BN candidates were merely designed to garner support for BN in Sabah.
“It clearly shows their impatience to stay in power and is wielding its ‘big brother’ character in all the political alliances they enter,” he said.
Shahrun said that discussions were still ongoing as of today and GRS chairman Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has yet to make an official stance on the matter.
“GRS has said that an alliance formed with BN will be without the interference of the political scenario in peninsular Malaysia.
“But the half-cooked statement from the BN chairman has caused unease among the GRS members, specifically those in PBS,” he said.
Shahrun said it was hard to come to an agreement when BN is trying to be seen as undermining GRS in the seat-sharing negotiations.
“It’s tough to reach a consensus in a short period of time,” he said, referring to the 25 parliamentary seats that needed to be shared between nine parties in the GRS-BN ruling coalition.
Shahrun said that PBS was still keeping its options with Warisan open, should its negotiations with BN fall apart.
“We can consider working with Warisan if it is more beneficial and our struggles of protecting the state are in line with each other,” he said.
Warisan’s eagerness to work with PBS has been widely reported with party president Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal speaking of the local party’s consistency in their struggle. Warisan has indicated that it was prepared to work with PBS in the upcoming GE15.
The nine parties within the GRS-BN government is GRS’s five parties — PBS, the Sabah chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Sabah PPBM), 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.