GRS not affected by Umno-Bersatu strained ties, says Hajiji

KOTA KINABALU: The state government, led by the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition, will not be affected by the current political developments between Umno and Bersatu at the federal level, says Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

Hajiji, who is Sabah Bersatu chairman, said cooperation between Bersatu and Umno within the GRS led Sabah government was not affected.

“Umno at the federal level knows that our resolve is to strengthen the GRS coalition and Bersatu will continue to work and cooperate with our partners in Sabah to honour the rakyat’s mandate that put us (GRS) in power, ” he said.

“Now is not the time for political bickering, but to get to work. We are faced with a pandemic, economic challenges and difficulties affecting the people, so let us all not be distracted but work together to surmount these challenges, ” Hajiji said in a statement here Saturday (March 6).

Hajiji's statement comes amid political talks of realignment between members of the nine parties in GRS.

GRS consists of Sabah Perikatan (comprising Bersatu, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and PAS), Sabah Barisan (comprising Sabah Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), Sabah MCA and Sabah MIC) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

When contacted, Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said that the party’s stand was to continue to work together.

He said there was no doubt there was some unhappiness among the parties over allocation of positions in government, but that does not mean they need to bring down GRS that took over the government.

"We (Sabah Umno) have our autonomy, we will work with Bersatu through GRS," he said, adding that not every group could be satisfied in terms of sharing positions.

"Just because everyone is unhappy, we can't destroy the mandate given to GRS," added Bung, who is Deputy Chief Minister.

On the straining relations between Umno and Bersatu, Bung said that he hoped that the Malay parties in the peninsula work towards a united platform.

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