KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno's liaison committee has endorsed the setting up of the opposition bloc Gabungan Bersatu Sabah (GBS) that is set to see the end of Barisan Nasional in the state.
The meeting chaired by the liaison chief Datuk Seri Hajiji Mohd Noor (pic) said they “agreed to and supported” the creation of the new bloc to shadow the Parti Warisan Sabah-led state government.
Hajiji said GBS was in the process of being registered and would unite all the existing opposition parties in the state.
He said GBS so far consist of Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) and Sabah STAR.
“GBS will become a strong opposition bloc in Sabah and we are determined to take over the Sabah state government in the next General Election,” he said after he chaired the Sabah Umno liaison meeting held on Thursday (Sept 13).
Hajiji, who is Sulaman assemblyman, said that the existing opposition parties in Sabah need to unite as one force and move together to fight for the interests and rights of the people in Sabah.
Among those present at the meeting were Kinabatangan MP Datuk Bung Moktar Radin, state Umno secretary Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun, Umno Information Chief Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia, treasurer Datuk Nizam Abu Bakar Titingan, Wanita Chief Datuk Jainab Ahmad Ayid, state Umno Youth chief Aziz Julkarnain and Umno supreme council member Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Said Keruak.
Sabah Umno and the smaller Sabah MCA and Sabah MIC remain on paper in Sabah Barisan following the shock election defeat of the then ruling coalition. Four other local parties (PBS, Upko, PBRS and LDP) have already left the coalition.
Sabah Umno, who won 17 state seats and seven parliament seats, but now has 10 assemblymen left with seven defecting to the ruling party or leaving.
PBS has six assemblymen and one MP while Sabah STAR has two assemblymen and one MP. At least five assemblymen formerly with Barisan parties remain independents.
Political talk is rife that Sabah Umno leaders were keen to form their own Sabah party to be part of GBS and hoped that the party's central leadership would agree to withdraw the party from Sabah as the current mood of the people were for local-based parties.