KOTA KINABALU: Chief Minister Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Haji Noor expressed his appreciation towards Umno Sabah chairman Dato Sri Bung Moktar Radin who remained committed to the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government.
Hajiji who is also GRS chairman said that Bung was committed to continue being together in the GRS government in Sabah.
Hajiji in his statement said that all GRS leaders have expressed their strong commitment to uphold the mandate of the people in Sabah who have elected the new GRS government.
“And because of that, our priority is to look after the welfare and future of the people and the state,” he said.
The challenge in front of us is to address the health issue, security and the economy following the Covid-19 pandemic, he said.
“Hence, as the chairman of GRS, I really appreciate the stance taken by Umno Sabah Liaison which decided to continue being in the GRS government in Sabah,” he said.
He added that the struggle with the people must be translated with commitment of all leaders with focus, cooperation and unity to bring Sabah out of the problem.
Bung, who is also Deputy Chief Minister, said on Thursday that Umno Sabah will remain in the GRS government after the central party decided to withdraw its support for Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin.
He said that the GRS Sabah government would continue to function normally for the welfare of people in Sabah.
“The Sabah GRS government was formed because of the support from the people and hence, we must respect their mandate,” he said.
Bung added that he had informed this to the Chief Minister on Wednesday.
He said that Sabah Umno is part of the GRS government and will focus on developing Sabah.
“Umno Sabah must be in solidarity with GRS because of the promise given to the people in the 16th General election and to ensure it materialises,” said Bung, who is one of three GRS deputy chairmen.
“We just had the state elections and there’s no need to pull out from the (state) government now because it is still functioning and it has the people’s confidence to manage the economy, state and the people.
“Umno Sabah will decide our own future,” he added.
Bung, however, said that he, as the Kinabatangan MP, and Kimanis MP Datuk Mohamad Alamin will follow the party’s decision at the federal level.
“If we don’t, then that would mean we will have to quit the party,” he said.
Bung also said Umno Sabah had not set any conditions to GRS to remain with the ruling state coalition at the moment.
“I believe we can discuss anything,” he said.
After a four-hour Supreme Council meeting on Wednesday night, Umno president Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had announced that the party was officially retracting its support for Muhyiddin.
Zahid had also asked Muhyiddin to step down as the government had failed to fulfil the two requirements the party had set to justify support for the administration.
Umno Sabah has 16 seats in the 79-seat state assembly and was part of the GRS government with PN that has 23 seats and Parti Bersatu Sabah with seven seats.
Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) has applauded the decision made by Bung to continue the party’s support for the GRS government.
Its president, Datuk Seri Panglima Dr Jeffrey G Kitingan said Bung’s decision cemented the Umno Sabah’s autonomy status and showed that Sabah Umno is a party that prioritises the people of Sabah.
“The GRS government is the democratically elected government of the day in Sabah. We were given the mandate by the people who ousted a backdoor government last year.
“The opposition has tried numerous times to destabilise this government but has been frustrated since the parties that make up GRS are those who understand that true power belongs in the hands of the people.
“As such, we will continue to work hard for the people, fulfil our promises made during the election campaign and move Sabah forward,” he said.
Jeffrey added that as a party, STAR would continue to support the leadership of Hajiji and urged its members to remain calm and carry on with their duties as usual.
STAR deputy president Datuk Ellron Angin also welcomed Umno Sabah’s commitment to safeguard the GRS State Government.
He said the move was aligned with the aspiration of the people, who have given their mandate to GRS in the last state election.
“The component parties in GRS and Parti Bersatu Sabah should respect the people’s mandate.
“Hence, STAR welcomes Umno Sabah’s stand to remain with GRS.”