GRS versus 32 lawmakers

KOTA KINABALU: The first session of the 16th Sabah State Assembly today will see newly-elected Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) facing the biggest opposition bloc in the state’s history.

Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, whose GRS coalition holds 47 seats (including six nominated assemblymen), will face off against Warisan Plus coalition head Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal, who has 32 lawmakers.

The coalition with Barisan Nasional, Perikatan Nasional (Sabah Bersatu, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party and PAS) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) won 38 seats in the Sept 26 state polls, with three Independent assemblymen joining its ranks later.

GRS was further strengthened with the appointment of the nominated assemblymen.

There are 79 seats in the state assembly.

Warisan Plus is made up of Parti Warisan Sabah, Upko, DAP and PKR.

The 16th Sabah State Assembly will be opened by Yang di-Pertua Negeri Tun Juhar Mahiruddin.

Speaker Datuk Kadzim M. Yahya said the two-day meeting would be held under strict adherence with the Covid-19 standard operating procedure, adding that the traditional parade for the opening ceremony would be scrapped.

The second day of the sitting would be held on Monday, Kadzim said.

The debate on the governor’s speech would be limited due to time constraints, he added.

“A supplementary budget will also be tabled during the Monday sitting, ” he said.

Kadzim said the state budget for 2021 would be tabled in December, when there would be ample time for all assemblymen to debate.

The assembly session is expected to be livestreamed with only official media allowed to cover the event.

Losing candidates in six state constituencies – Pintasan, Karambunai, Darau, Sindumin, Petagas and Kukusan – have filed election petitions to challenge the respective results.

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