State Pakatan leaders submit Sabah reform agenda to Hajiji as basis for cooperation

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Pakatan Harapan has submitted a Sabah Reform Agenda to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, in what could be seen as the basis for cooperation with the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led coalition state government.

The four state leaders, however, emphasised that the Sabah Reform Agenda was not similar to the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) that was signed by Pakatan with the Federal Government earlier this year.

They said that the Sabah Reform Agenda was a consensus on recommendations for all parties in the state to work together to ensure that the rights of the people of Sabah are fought for in the best possible way.

Especially with the main focus for demanding the implementation of the Malaysia Agreement 1963 and providing Sabah autonomy over matters of health, education, natural resources and transportation among others, the leaders said in a joint statement.

The Sabah Pakatan leaders - Datuk Chirstina Liew (PKR), Datuk Frankie Poon (DAP), Lahirul Latigu (Amanah) and Datuk Seri Wilfred Madius Tangau (Upko) - met with Hajiji Noor to submit the Sabah Reform Agenda on Monday (Nov 15).

Under the agenda, the Opposition leaders also submitted recommendations related to the economic recovery budget to be taken into account in the Sabah Budget 2022, which will be tabled on Dec 3, 2021, including the set up of the Sabah Economic Recovery Council.

Other matters in the agenda were for the need to implement reforms in the state Legislative Assembly for check and balance, as well as enact an anti-hopping law. They also want the establishment of a select committee for every state ministry.

Other issues the Opposition pushed for under the agenda were for the establishment of a Land Tribunal, Department Native Judiciary and Native Land Foundation.

The leaders said that the Sabah Reform Agenda was overdue for Sabah and all political parties - from the government and Opposition - must work together.

The leaders, in their statement, said the Chief Minister had shown "commitment" and had given the assurance that he would seek consensus with his partners in the 10-party GRS coalition to work on the Sabah Reform Agenda.

The Pakatan leaders also welcomed the presence of Deputy Chief Minister II Datuk Seri Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (Sabah STAR president) during the meeting with Hajiji. They welcomed his assurance for the Sabah Reform Agenda to succeed.

The Pakatan parties have a total of nine assemblymen, while the main Opposition - Parti Warisan Sabah led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal with 19 assemblymen - has indicated that they were not interested to pursue a formal cooperation with the GRS state government.

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