Sabah govt not a unity govt, says state Umno leader

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah Umno has taken Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor to task over his remarks that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS)-led state government was a unity government.

Its election director Jeffery Nor Mohamed said the present Sabah government could not be considered a unity government, contending that it did not reflect the members of the federal unity government.

He said there were only two coalitions within the state government, namely GRS and Pakatan Harapan.

He added, however, other parties from Sabah that were members of the federal unity government were not part of the state government.

(Besides GRS and Pakatan, the parties based in Sabah in the federal unity government are Barisan Nasional, Parti Warisan and Parti KDM).

“Even if there are members of the state Cabinet said to be from Sabah Umno, I think they were appointed by the Chief Minister himself and not with the blessing of the state Umno as what had been done in the past,” he said in a statement here on Sunday (Aug 20).

Jeffery said even in the state assembly, Umno representatives were divided into two blocs, some on the opposition bench and others on the government side.

“It is as if there are people out there using the ‘conquer and divide’ concept ... for us in Sabah Umno, this is unacceptable,” he said.

He was commenting on a statement by Hajiji, who earlier this week, had said GRS will stick with its unity government partners in the next state election.

“I would like to state that in the coming (state) election, we are with the unity government including Pakatan Harapan in Sabah,” the Chief Minister told reporters after an event here on Thursday (Aug 17).

“We cannot be separated from our partners, Pakatan and others, including Barisan Nasional. This is because we want to develop Sabah and its people. There is no need for too much politicking and disturbance," he added.

To this, Jeffery considered it to be a double standard statement by Hajiji and merely rhetorical.

“If Hajiji really considered Sabah Umno part of the state government, then why treat the party like an opposition in Sabah?” he asked.

He contended it was evident that Umno was not friendly, judging from the attacks on the party during the tour series by Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah of which Hajiji was the president.

This was on top of the online attacks by GRS cyber troopers who he claimed continued to undermine Umno and its leaders on social media and in some GRS-controlled online portals.

Jeffery, who is also Putatan Umno division head, contended that another double standard practised by GRS was its accommodation of the Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) in the ruling state coalition.

He questioned how GRS could continue to tolerate SAPP, which was part of the Opposition Perikatan Nasional at the federal level.

He said SAPP president Datuk Seri Yong Teck Lee was not only the GRS deputy chairman, but also at the same time, the Perikatan deputy chief.

“This is what I meant by double standards, or is there another agenda?” he said.

GRS secretary-general Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun had on Friday (Aug 18) said SAPP must eventually pick a side instead of “playing in two political ponds”.

“This is so the electorate does not get confused,” Masidi said.

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