KOTA KINABALU, Jan 6 — Sabah Umno has officially pulled the plug on their relationship with the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government and will no longer support Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor as chief minister.
Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin made the announcement tonight after an emergency meeting at their headquarters here tonight.
He cited broken deals by Hajiji as the reason for their decision, as well as a contradiction of the Constitution which disallows Hajiji from holding the position any longer once he left Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia as he was now partyless.
“We in Sabah Barisan Nasional had formed an agreement with Perikatan Nasional after the 2020 state election.
“But it is clear that he had broken our agreement by sacking Usukan assemblyman Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak as Qhazanah chairman and threatening us with a reshuffle.
“We have unanimously decided to pull our support for this government and Hajiji as chief minister,” he said.
Bung said he expected 12 out of 17 Umno assemblymen as well as former Parti Bangsa Malaysia assemblyman Datuk Mohammadin Ketapi, who was also present at the press conference, to back his move.
In explaining their reason for their decision, he said Hajiji is constitutionally no longer qualified to hold the position as he no longer commanded the majority of the state assembly, and that he was misleading the Registrar of Societies by claiming he was a member of GRS.
He said Hajiji was breaching Section 6(3) and 6(7) of the State Constitution which requires the chief minister to be chosen from the party which has the highest majority of assemblymen and that he had to be from a political party.
“He is partyless, and is only part of a grand coalition. We have consulted our lawyers who agree that he has lost locus standing as the chief minister,” he said.
Bung asked the State Governor to look into the Constitution and make a decision on Hajiji’s position.
On whether he was ready to form government, Bung laughed and said “wait and see.”
“There are some things we cannot reveal,” he said, but added that they will work with anybody who was sincere.
Bung said that the five assemblymen who were not present or in agreement with the party decision, had to fall in line as this was a party decision. Among the five believed to be in support of Hajiji was minister and Putatan MP and Tanjung Keramat Datuk Shahelmy Yahya.
“We are still talking. But this is a party decision. Any position they have is not by themselves but owned by the party.
“We will take action on those who are not in line with the party decision,” he said.
Bung also said he would involve the prime minister in the latest developments.
Talks of a takeover have been rife for weeks since the general election was over but took a new light yesterday when Parti Warisan scheduled a press conference, widely speculated to announce their collaboration with Umno.
However the press conference fell through as they failed to garner enough support to make the announcement.
Earlier today, Hajiji announced that there would be a reshuffle in the state Cabinet.