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KOTA KINABALU, April 6 — Sabah Chief Minister Datuk Hajiji Noor wants all parties in the ruling Gabungan Rakyat Sabah coalition to ensure they work together without any overlap or “friendly fire” when the next election (GE15) is called.
Lauding its Umno partner Datuk Bung Moktar Radin for his continuous commitment to ensuring GRS remains intact despite a falling out between Umno and Bersatu at the federal level, Hajiji said he was confident that Sabah can build an understanding between the various components to ensure that they were united in the upcoming national polls.
“I know that the reality is we are in different political parties, but we come from the same roots.
“I hope that the GRS alliance can come together and face the polls without fighting over seats. We have garnered victory once and let’s work together to defend that victory together from the grassroots to the top leadership,” he said during Bersatu’s second anniversary dinner here last night.
GRS is composed of some nine component parties: Bersatu, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and PAS under Perikatan Nasional, Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Sabah MCA and Sabah MIC under Barisan Nasional, and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS). Gerakan is expected to be in the fold as well.
In the September 26 snap polls, GRS pulled off a win despite its component parties clashing with each other in over 20 of the 73 seats up for grabs.
The GRS coalition won 38 seats while Warisan Plus secured 32 seats. GRS, together with the support of three independents, managed to form the state government.
Hajiji said achieving consensus among the GRS parties now was of utmost importance in order to bring Sabah the development it needs, as well as solutions to its longstanding issues in the Malaysia 1963 agreement and oil royalties.
He said the good working relationship with the federal government over the last six months has seen crucial federal funding including the overdue payment of state sales tax on petroleum products from Petronas.
The dinner last night was officiated by Bersatu deputy president Datuk Seri Ahmad Faizal Azumu and attended by Bersatu secretary-general Datuk Hamzah Zainudin, and most presidents of the component parties of GRS.