KOTA KINABALU: Perikatan Nasional remains intact in Sabah despite the state chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Bersatu) being an official member of the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition.
“Bersatu is a component party in GRS at the state level (but) at the federal level, Bersatu is the main party that forms Perikatan... it stays that way,” Bersatu vice-president Datuk Seri Dr Ronald Kiandee told reporters after the launch of the Jelajah Aspirasi Keluarga Malaysia programme here on Friday (May 20).
“The Chief Minister (Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor) is a member of Bersatu... (but in Sabah) we are GRS.
“It’s not complicated, don’t make it complicated,” he added in response to questions whether or not the United Sabah National Organisation's (Usno) entry into GRS meant Bersatu and Perikatan were fading out as political heavyweights in the state.
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He said he disagreed with speculation that Usno’s entry signalled the end of Bersatu in Sabah.
“I’m sure you are all aware that several more parties are being considered (to be official members of GRS).
“So it’s not only Usno,” said Kiandee, who is also federal Agriculture and Food Industries Minister.
On May 9, GRS chairman Hajiji announced that its supreme council had accepted the application of Usno, led by former Dewan Rakyat speaker Tan Sri Pandikar Amin.
However, the supreme council meeting did not make any decision about Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Malaysia (KDM) led by former Warisan vice-president Datuk Peter Anthony, Parti Cinta Sabah (PCS) led by former foreign minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP) led by Datuk Chin Su Phin.
GRS information chief Datuk Joniston Bangkuai later explained that more time was needed to work with those three parties before deciding on their applications.
Besides Sabah Bersatu and Usno, GRS also comprises Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS).
Sabah PAS, which has one nominated assemblyman, was not included as an official component of GRS despite being part of the GRS-Barisan Nasional ruling state government. It is also part of Sabah Perikatan.