GRS claims majority in Sabah after UMNO’s pullout

SABAH chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor continues to hold a majority in the state assembly despite the withdrawal of support from Barisan Nasional (BN) and UMNO, said Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, who added that six UMNO representatives did not agree with state leader Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin’s withdrawal of support against Hajiji.

While Masidi did not name who the six UMNO reps are, Sabah UMNO and BN said they had made a unanimous decision to withdraw their support for the state government headed by Hajiji.

Bung, chairman of the Sabah UMNO liaison committee, said party members had “lost confidence” in the chief minister following the latter’s breach of an agreement between the BN and the Perikatan Nasional (PN).

The Public Works Minister also said he was dissatisfied that Hajiji fired Sabah BN elections director, Datuk Seri Salleh Said Keruak as Sabah Qhazanah chairman and threatened a state Cabinet reshuffle without discussing it with BN and UMNO.

The Sabah state assembly has 79 assemblymen, 73 elected and six appointed.

Following the latest development, Bernama reported that the state government led by Hajiji now has the support of 41 assemblymen, 29 from GRS, PH (seven), Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat (three), Parti Harapan Rakyat Sabah (one) and one independent.

Warisan has 19 seats, while PAS has one.

However, the Daily Express said KDM president Datuk Peter Anthony and the party’s two other assemblymen, on Friday (Jan 6) called on Hajiji to resign as chief minister, claiming the latter has lost the majority support in the State Legislative Assembly.

While the situation remains unstable, Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim downplayed the political turmoil in Sabah after a coup to oust chief minister.

Anwar said he has discussed the matter with deputy prime minister Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi, Hajiji, Bung, Warisan president Shafie Apdal, and DAP secretary-general Anthony Loke Siew Fook.

“It looks like the situation is calm now and I don’t think there is any turmoil (in Sabah),” he told reporters after Friday prayers here when asked about the situation in the state.

“I don’t see any (new) developments. I was just informed that there were some issues, and I asked the chief minister (Hajiji) to discuss it with (our) friends in Sabah.” — Jan 7, 2023

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