Sabah Umno still acting like 'big brother' despite losing ground, says GRS leader


KOTA KINABLU: Sabah Umno is still behaving like a "big brother" even though the party's influence has been waning, says Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) youth leader Johainizamshah Johari.

He said Sabah Umno has lost most of its leaders and members who left after its chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin withdrew support from Chief Minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor in an attempt to bring down his government.

ALSO READ: Hajiji undermined himself by raising coup attempt again, says Umno MP

"They left Umno and Barisan Nasional because they did not agree with Bung's decision to withdraw their support for Hajiji's GRS government.

"The (withdrawal of support) was purely aimed at political self-gain and not in the interest of the people," Johainizamshah said on Thursday (Nov 16), weighing in on the ongoing political debate over the incident.

Hajiji managed to hold on to his majority in the state assembly when renegade Barisan assemblymen backed him together with Sabah Pakatan Harapan elected representatives.

The move came just after Hajiji led a mass exodus out of Bersatu in December to align with the federal unity government led by Datuk Seri Anwar Ibrahim after the GE15.

ALSO READ: Sabah CM says thank you again to those who supported GRS during political turmoil

Johainizamshah said people were not blind to Bung Moktar's actions as he wanted to become chief minister and was prepared to work with Parti Warisan and Parti KDM in the political coup attempt.

Hajiji, when opening Parti Gagasan Rakyat Sabah's (Gagasan Rakyat) first annual congress earlier this week, had thanked Pakatan Harapan for supporting him during the attempted coup.

In response, Sabah Umno information chief Datuk Suhaimi Nasir accused Hajiji of breaking his promises, citing that as the key reason for the party to withdraw its support.

ALSO READ: Bung insists Shahelmey suspended, three Umno reps sacked

In the ongoing battle of words, GRS leaders have accused Sabah Umno of trying to cover up its own weaknesses and the failed power grab.

Johainizamshah said Hajiji had given numerous concessions to Sabah Umno during seat allocation for GE15 even though GRS had a better choice of candidates; and had even given preference to it when selecting heads of important government-linked companies.

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