GRS will announce CM candidate today (Sept 27) morning before swearing-in ceremony

  • Nation
  • Sunday, 27 Sep 2020

Perikatan Nasional secretary-general Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin (left) and Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chairman Datuk Hajiji Mohd Noor at a press conference at the Perikatan command centre. — ZULAZHAR SHEBLEE/The Star

KOTA KINABALU: The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) pact will announce its candidate for Sabah chief minister on Sunday (Sept 27) morning, amid intense negotiations, says Sabah Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia chief Datuk Hajiji Noor.

He announced this at a press conference at the Magellan Sutera Resort earlier Sunday, without the presence of Barisan Nasional leaders.

Questions were raised regarding the announcement, since it is believed that Barisan leaders were absent due to a deadlock involving negotiations over who should be GRS’ chief minister for Sabah.

Hajiji said the chief minister candidate will be announced before the swearing-in ceremony at the Istana Negeri by the Yang Dipertua Negeri (TYT).

“We will announce it before we head to the Istana Negeri for the swearing-in ceremony,” he told the press conference.

Asked if the chief minister candidate was unanimously agreed to by other leaders in the GRS pact, Hajiji dodged the question.

“God-willing we have enough numbers to swear in but because it is already late, we will do it the next day,” he said.

When asked why other leaders were absent, Hajiji said many came from afar and some of them hadn’t reach Kota Kinabalu yet.

“So, wait and we will make an announcement with them later.”

Members of the press were eagerly waiting for the press conference that was scheduled to start at 9pm, but this was delayed for over five hours as it was believed that hard bargaining took place.

Among those present during the announcement was independent candidate Datuk Rubin Balang, who won the Kemabong seat in the state election.

Asked why was Rubin present, Hajiji said, “Because he is supporting Perikatan Nasional”.

The forerunners for the chief minister position are Sabah Umno chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and Hajiji himself.

Over the past week, the chief minister candidate for GRS became a contentious issue as neither Sabah Barisan nor Perikatan wanted to budge.

GRS won 38 seats (Barisan has 14, Perikatan has 17, and PBS has seven) and the Warisan Plus alliance won 32 seats, while Independents took the remaining three seats.
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