Possibility of govt change in Sabah fizzles as Warisan, BN press conference called off

Malay Mail
Malay Mail

KOTA KINABALU, Jan 5 — The rumoured move to topple the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state government and chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor did not come to fruition today, after a surprise press conference believed to announce it was postponed until further notice.

Malay Mail understands that talks between Parti Warisan and Barisan Nasional (BN) coming together to form a majority to take over from Hajiji apparently did not materialise as of 7pm today.

Attempts to reach both party leaders — Warisan president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal and Sabah BN chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin — were also unsuccessful as most of the 12 assemblymen gathered at a local hotel here began leaving.

BN leaders had also met at the Umno headquarters here earlier but left without speaking to the media.

A Warisan spokesman said that the two parties would reconvene and call a press conference again when the time was right.

Earlier, it was widely speculated that the two parties, who together would form a near majority of the 79-seat state assembly, would announce their intention to take over the state.

Warisan has 19 state assemblymen while BN has 17. GRS has 29.

Meanwhile, GRS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai said that any move now was unlikely to succeed or get the approval of voters.

“Why hatch a plot to unseat the state government at a time when our focus should be to hasten and intensify efforts to develop the state?” he asked.

He said that the majority of Sabahans are against any plot or action to unseat the current state government.

“Lest we forget the results of the 16th state elections in 2020 in which the party that unseated the already installed state government through defection being rejected,” said Bangkuai without elaborating.

He said that any move that could bring about political instability in Sabah should be avoided and instead all concerned should focus on strengthening unity.

“It is regrettable that certain quarters appear to never cease to undermine the state government led by Hajiji,” he said.

This comes as Sabah PH’s seven state assemblymen earlier today denied supporting GRS through a written statement, as claimed by the latter’s secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun last night.

Meanwhile, all state assemblymen from Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) reiterated their support for Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor to continue leading the state.