Umno keeping options open on proposal to register GRS

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno is keeping its options open over growing calls from some of the 10-party Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition partners to register it as a political entity.

Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin said he was willing to listen to the views of those who wanted GRS to be officially registered as a party.

"We (GRS) have not yet held a meeting to discuss it. We are ready to listen," said Bung Moktar, who is also Sabah Barisan Nasional chairman.

He said he personally saw GRS as just a platform for parties to come together to form the state government, regardless of whether or not it was registered.

GRS, led by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajji Noor, was a loose coalition of Sabah-based parties that toppled the Warisan Plus government in the snap September 2020 state election.

The coalition comprises the four-party Barisan (Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah, MCA and MIC), Perikatan Nasional (Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia, Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party, PAS and Gerakan) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).

Sabah Bersatu had been keen for GRS to be registered as a political entity to unify the parties as a single front and push for Sabah issues with one voice.

Bung Moktar and Umno had so far been lukewarm towards the idea especially after Barisan went on its own in the Melaka state election.

On the Johor state elections, Bung Moktar said Sabah would send a team to help campaign for their colleagues in the state.

On Semporna's Bugaya state assembly seat remaining vacant since the death of its incumbent a year ago, Bung said the National Security Council was assessing the situation before making a decision on whether or not to allow the by-election.

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