Warisan signals possible Sabah Umno tie-up by attending Umno's Hari Raya do
KOTA KINABALU, May 4 — The presence of Warisan leaders at the Sabah Umno's Hari Raya open house today has further fueled speculations of a potential partnership between the two former political rivals.
Among those seen at that event were Warisan vice-presidents Datuk Jaujan Sambakong and Datuk Junz Wong, secretary-general Datuk Loretto Padua, as well as Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (PKDM) deputy president Datuk Wetrom Bahanda.
It was attended by Deputy Prime Minister and Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi and Sabah Umno chief Datuk Bung Moktar Radin at the Sabah Umno headquarters. Zahid had also acknowledged them in his speech.
When brought up to Zahid later, he brushed off speculations and said that representatives from GRS had attended his earlier function at MARA junior science college (MRSM) in Kinarut.
“I reckon that is the manifestation of the relationship between the federal and state government,” he said.
When asked what the scenario was moving towards a Sabah state election, he said: “You should ask Hajiji.” — in reference to chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.
Earlier, he said that Barisan Nasional, Warisan and PKDM should focus on supporting the federal and state governments for the sake of political stability to help the state.
“I also pray that Hajiji will get healthy soon and hopefully, he can be with us,” he said, referring to the surgery to remove gallstones that Hajiji would be undergoing next week.
Meanwhile, when approached by reporters, Jaujan did not mince words and said that Warisan hopes it would be working with Umno in the future.
“I was not involved in talks on working with Umno before, but we hope it will become a reality. Like our president Datuk Seri Shafie Apdal has said before, we are open to working with anyone for Sabah's sake. We have nothing against Umno,” said the Sulabayan assemblyman.
Jaujan also said that they had not made any conditions, as they had not reached that stage of discussions.
In January this year, the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah state government was rocked when Sabah Umno, attempted to unseat Hajiji with Umno pulling their support for him, with the support of Warisan and PKDM.
However, the coup failed as several Umno dissidents, as well as Sabah Pakatan Harapan assemblymen, backed Hajiji, allowing him to maintain majority support in the 79-seat state assembly and to continue holding the position.
As a consequence, several leaders were dropped from the state Cabinet, including Bung who was dropped as deputy chief minister.
However, Umno and GRS are aligned under the same government at the federal level.