KOTA KINABALU: Sabah STAR, which has decided to join the unity government of Prime Minister Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim, is set to part ways with Perikatan Nasional led by Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
Sabah STAR president Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan said that his party agreed with the King's advice to support a unity government, which Perikatan does not want to follow.
"We support the unity government as that was the solution for the political impasse. We supported for the sake of stability," he told reporters after tabling the Sabah Budget 2023 by Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor at the state assembly here on Friday (Nov 25).
"We are on different paths," he said when asked if it would mean that Sabah STAR would no longer be a Perikatan component party.
"We are for a unity government and they (Perikatan) are not. Sabah STAR's stand is the same as Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) stand for the unity government," he added.
Pressed further to confirm if the party would leave Perikatan, Kitingan, who is also Sabah Deputy Chief Minister, replied: "If you move this way and I move that way – what does it mean?"
"Time will tell. If we don't attend a few meetings we will automatically (be no longer members of Perikatan). Let things cool down first," he said.
Sabah STAR and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) are members of Perikatan at national level and also members of GRS at state level.
GRS, which is led by Sabah Bersatu chairman Hajiji, announced its support for the unity government under Anwar.
GRS was a local based coalition of five parties but Sabah Bersatu has taken a different stand from its national party led by Muhyddin.
Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) led by Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili was a member of GRS but not a member of Perikatan. The party was following the GRS' stand to support the unity government.
The five-party coalition won six seats, including four from Bersatu, with candidates using the GRS logo in GE15.
GRS and Sabah Barisan worked on an electoral pact where GRS contested 13 seats and Barisan contested 12 of the 25 Parliament seats in Sabah.