Umno veteran Shahrir Samad today suggested that Sabah Bersatu leaders, including its assemblypersons who just won in the recently concluded state election, to rejoin Umno.
In a statement, the former cabinet minister called Bersatu a party that was formed only as part of an elite political play in the peninsula, and that it is not needed in Sabah politics.
"Thus, Sabah Bersatu leaders should realise this and admit they would create unity and political stability in Sabah by leaving behind Bersatu and returning to Umno.
"Why dance to the tune of Umno leaders from the peninsula? When Bersatu representatives return to Umno and BN, the number of seats in the Sabah state assembly would clearly be much more than the 23 seats that the Shafie Apdal party has," he said.
Shahrir was referring to the recently concluded state election, which saw Warisan, led by Shafie, bagging a total of 23 out of the 73 State Legislative Assembly seats.
Warisan is working together with DAP, PKR, and Upko as the Warisan Plus coalition. They command a total of 31 seats.
Meanwhile, Umno as a party won 14 seats. But by working with Bersatu-led Perikatan Nasional (PN) and PBS as the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition, they have a total of 38 seats, and thus have the edge to form a simple majority state government.
However, since the GRS emerged victorious in the Saturday election, the parties in the loose coalition have been mum on who would be their chief minister.
It was reported earlier during the campaign period that Umno and Bersatu each had their own choice, and this is believed to have led to an impasse.
Both Sabah Bersatu chief Hajiji Noor and Sabah Umno chief Bung Moktar Radin met with state Governor Juhar Mahiruddin yesterday. Juhar reportedly had asked for more time to decide on who would be the next chief minister.
However, Shahrir claimed that whatever decision is reached by the governor, it would not quench the thirst for power of "some" political leaders in the state - he did not specify who he meant.
Instead, he said, the solution is in the hands of Bersatu leaders in the state and at the federal level.
"The solution would not come from the 'wisdom' of Tun Juhar but for Bersatu leaders at the state and central level to admit that their political ambitions would not be able to solve the political struggle in Sabah," Shahrir added.