‘Wait and see’, says Hajiji over three Warisan defectors’ next move

KOTA KINABALU: Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah (Gagasan Rakyat) has not made any overture for the three assemblymen who recently quit Parti Warisan to join its ranks.

Chief Minister and Gagasan Rakyat president Datuk Seri Hajiij Noor (pic) was non-committal when asked if his party would invite the trio, who had pledged allegiance to Hajiji’s government, to join them.

“I will see how it is, we wait and see for what they will decide for themselves and their political future,” he said, after attending the Yayasan Sabah Group dinner here on Tuesday (Feb 7) night.

Hajiji, who is also the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) state coalition chairman, expressed his appreciation for their support for the GRS government.

“Thanks a lot to them for announcing their support to the government which I am leading,” he said.

On Monday (Feb 6), Warisan, which won 23 seats in the September 2020 snap state election, lost three more of its assemblymen - Mohammad Mohamarin (Banggi), Ben Chong Chen Bin (Tanjong Kapor) and Norazlinah Arif (Kunak).

They had announced in a video spread on social media that they left the party led by former chief minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal to become independents friendly to the Chief Minister.

In a joint statement, the trio said they were against the continued attempts to destabilise the state government as it was not benefiting Sabah's development plans under the Sabah Maju Jaya roadmap.

They were among six Warisan assemblymen names previously speculated to quit the party. They had denied such claims prior to Monday's crossover and even collectively lodged police reports over such speculations.

Following their departure, Warisan vice-president Datuk Jaujan Sambakong said they should vacate their seats in keeping with agreements they made before being named as candidates, adding the party would take legal action against the trio.

Jaujan said Warisan's response would be similar to the legal action taken against its former assemblymen Datuk Hassan A Gani Pg Amir (Sebatik), Datuk Dr Yusof Yacob (Sindumin), Datuk Mohamaddin Ketapi (Segama) and Rina Jainal (Kukusan), who had defected over the last two years.

Warisan is now left with 16 seats in the Sabah state assembly.

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