Sabah Pakatan ready for bipartisan cooperation but wants clear framework

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Pakatan Harapan is ready for bipartisan cooperation with the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led state government but wants to draw up clear guidelines for their working relationship.

Leaders of the four-party Opposition coalition said that they were ready to work for bipartisan cooperation in line with the federal memorandum of understanding signed by the government and the national Opposition Pakatan.

The state Pakatan leaders have also agreed to form a special committee among themselves to detail out issues needed to tackle as well propose re-development strategies for the state.

They would then submit to the state government as part of their step towards bipartisan cooperation with the GRS government led by Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor.

In joint a statement, the leaders - Sabah PKR chairman Datuk Christina Liew, Sabah DAP chairman Datuk Poon Ming Fung, Sabah Amanah head Lahirul Latigu and Upko president Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau - said they were ready to work on a framework towards rehabilitation and redevelopment of the state.

"This includes an agenda for democratic reform and good governance at the state level," they said in a joint statement on Sunday (Oct 24) following a meeting the night before.

The state Opposition leaders said that they were ready for cooperation for the stability of the state especially after the country saw three government changes in 24-months and also more recently the collapse of the Melaka government.

"Sabah Pakatan believes political stability in Sabah will also be jeopardized if the same thing spreads to the state government.

"The people should not be burdened with the internal problems of parties within a government that is openly at loggerheads," they said.

They said that it was no longer a matter of politics, but the general interest of the people of Sabah.

"All existing resources should be used to treat, recover and redevelop the effects of the crisis as a result of this Covid-19 pandemic," the leaders said.

Sabah Pakatan said that continuing political activities either by the government or opposition would only stifle efforts to serve the people.

The leaders also took the GRS government to task for relying fully on the Covid -19 vaccination programme to create herd immunity as its key focus in the economic recovery.

"Sabah Pakatan believes that the vaccination program is just one of the recovery strategies. The government cannot rely solely on vaccination programmes without triggering the urgency of formulating and implementing strategies for subsequent redevelopment," they said.

The leaders said that the public health rehabilitation strategy must be followed by immediate plans for economic and infrastructure redevelopment in the state.

"The state government should play a more pragmatic and transparent role in rehabilitation and redevelopment programs. To date, the state government has not yet clearly come up with strategies on how to redevelop the economy in Sabah," they said.

Sabah Pakatan has a total of nine assemblymen in the current 78-member Sabah assembly while the main state Opposition Parti Warisan Sabah holds 20 seats.

The ten-party GRS has a total of 49 seats that includes independents supporting the ruling party.

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