KOTA KINABALU, Jan 7 — Five out of 17 Umno assemblymen have decided to go against the party stand and support the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
The five — Tanjung Keramat’s Datuk Ir. Shahelmey Yahya, Pantai Dalit’s Datuk Jasnih Daya, Sugut’s Datuk James Ratib, Sindumin’s Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob and Tempasuk’s Datuk Mohd Arsad Bistari— said that they were against a power grab on a legitimately elected government and called out Sabah Barisan Nasional (BN) chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin for instigating such a move.
"We were shocked and disappointed that Sabahans are once again dragged into a political crisis because of some irresponsible people.
"We were shocked by the actions of some people especially the BN chairman who had been working on toppling the legitimate state government.
"We fully condemn the move and urge him to step down as Umno chairman for his action that has smeared the good name of the party,” they said in a statement.
They said it was not the right time for a political power grab but instead focus on rehabilitating the state’s economy.
"We also want to continue the aspirations of the people and reject any form of attempt to cause chaos and anxiety among the people,” they said.
The support of the five Umno assemblymen gives GRS’s position a firm hold on government , pushing their 29 seats closer to the simple majority of 40 seats. With PH’s seven seats, they have 41 seats, more than the simply majority with a margin of one seat. They are expected to be padded up by PAS, and one or two more assemblymen.
Umno with some 12 remaining state assemblymen, has pulled their support for GRS. They may not have enough numbers to form a new state government if they wanted to even if they join up with Warisan, Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia and the Segama independent candidate.