Sabah chief minister denies PBS-Warisan takeover

·2-min read
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor meeting some of the victims of the fire in Kampung Meruntum last Saturday which saw 35 wooden stilt homes razed. — Picture by Julia Chan
Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor meeting some of the victims of the fire in Kampung Meruntum last Saturday which saw 35 wooden stilt homes razed. — Picture by Julia Chan

KOTA KINABALU, May 17 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor has denied rumours of an impending shift in power following overtures by Opposition leader and former chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal towards state government component Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Hajiji said that the conciliatory statements from the two parties were not indicative of any change in the status quo and it was just political games being played to confuse the people and shake the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition.

“This is propaganda played by certain quarters to confuse the rakyat and try to disrupt the stability and unity among the GRS component parties.

“The government right now is very stable, and we have a strong understanding between us. We were given the mandate to rule. Our focus now is to develop Sabah, so I am not paying too much heed to this,” he said.

Hajiji was speaking to reporters after handing over aid to some 25 families affected by a fire in Kampung Meruntum, Putatan last Saturday.

“The PBS secretary-general has already denied everything, so this is something that was used to rattle public confidence in the state leadership.

“Meanwhile, we hope the public doesn’t get too affected by this because we are trying to do the work that is expected of us by the people,” he said.

Hajiji was referring to a news report of PBS’ Datuk Joniston Bangkuai having to dismiss rumours of Parti Warisan Sabah president Shafie making a return and being sworn in as chief minister.

Bangkuai said it was “idle chatter” as speculation increased over the Hari Raya Aidilfitri weekend.

Last week, Shafie disclosed that his party would like to work with PBS if given the chance.

PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili later welcomed the Warisan president’s gesture by saying that it was prepared to work with any party in the interest of the state.

The GRS state government has a comfortable majority of 48 seats in the 79-seat assembly while the Warisan Opposition holds 30 seats. PBS has seven seats.

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