Barisan and GRS cement GE15 partnership

KOTA KINABALU: The partnership between Barisan Nasional and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) will continue in the 15th General Election (GE15).

Leaders from both sides are ironing out final details on the seat sharing formula for the state’s 25 parliament seats.

Sabah Barisan chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin and GRS secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun said they had agreed to work together in the upcoming federal elections.

“We are finalising seats sharing arrangements to ensure victory for our respective candidates, “Masidi said.

This was confirmed by Bung, who added that an announcement on seat distribution would be made at the right time.

The agreement to work together puts an end to possible clashes between the two coalitions currently ruling the state government.

Barisan comprises Umno, Parti Bersatu Rakyat Sabah (PBRS), MCA and MIC while GRS’ members are the Sabah chapter of Parti Pribumi Bersatu Malaysia (Sabah Bersatu), Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Sabah STAR, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) and Usno.

Questions about whether the two parties, which formed a coalition at the state level, would face off in GE15 had been simmering for over a year in view of the Umno-Bersatu (Perikatan Nasional) clash at the national level.

The pact between Barisan and GRS is expected to strengthen the two coalitions against Parti Warisan led by Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal and Sabah Pakatan Harapan.

Following the fall of Pakatan government in 2020, Warisan has severed ties with Pakatan.

In the 2018 general election, Warisan and Pakatan won 14 seats while Sabah Barisan parties won 10 seats and (then Opposition) Sabah STAR won one.

Currently, Warisan holds seven MP seats, Barisan (three), GRS (eight), Pakatan Harapan (five), Parti Bangsa Malaysia (one) and the Batu Sapi parliament seat remains vacant following the death of Warisan’s Datuk VK Liew.

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