GRS vows to stay steadfast

Staying strong: Hajiji (centre) discussing the details with Bung as (from left) Ellron, Radin and Yong look on before the signing of the MOU.

KOTA KINABALU: The fledgling nine-party Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) will remain steadfast even in the face of the current political uncertainty within the Federal Government, says its chairman.

Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor said Sabah would not be influenced by political developments in Peninsular Malaysia, where Umno may decide to leave the Perikatan Nasional coalition.

“We look at politics in Sabah as Sabah’s own politics.

“We cannot be influenced by the movements of politics elsewhere, especially in Peninsular Malaysia, ” he told reporters here after leaders of GRS component parties signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) yesterday to strengthen the alliance that won last September’s snap state election.

Hajiji, who is also the Chief Minister and Sabah Bersatu chairman, said GRS was focused on working together to deliver the people’s mandate.

“This is why we are not affected by what happens in the political scenario in the peninsula. No matter what happens, we are strongly intact here in Sabah, ” he said.

At the same press conference, Sabah Umno and state Barisan Nasional chief Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin reiterated the party’s stand was to ensure GRS remained intact as the ruling state government regardless of political developments elsewhere.

“Our stand is very clear. We have decided to defend GRS, not just for Umno, but also us in Barisan, because our priority is to help see Sabah develop further, ” he said.

The nine leaders who signed the MOU were Hajiji, Bung, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) deputy president Datuk Radin Malleh, Sabah STAR deputy president Datuk Ellron Angin, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS) president Arthur Kurup and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee.

The other leaders who signed were Sabah MCA chairman Lu Yen Tung, Sabah MIC chief Peer Mohd Kadir and Sabah PAS commissioner Aliakabar Gulasan.

When asked why they signed an MOU instead of an agreement, Hajiji said there was no need for that as there was the “political commitment and spirit to work together”.

“I believe there is no need for any agreement as leaders of the respective parties are responsible, ” he said, adding that the working relationship between the parties had been there before, during and after the state election.

“This is a political understanding, not like a business joint venture to do a project, ” he also said.

GRS office bearers include Hajiji as chairman, Bung as deputy chairman I, Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili (PBS) as deputy chairman II, Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan (Sabah STAR) as deputy chairman III, Mohd Razali Razi (Bersatu) as secretary, Ardino Diris (Sabah STAR) as assistant secretary, Datuk Seri Mohd Salleh Tun Said Keruak (Umno) as treasurer and Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (PBS) as information chief.

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