Tuesday, February 7

Joniston: No GRS-BN war, Hajiji and Bung have Sabah’s interests at heart


Datuk Joniston Bangkuai

KOTA KINABALU (Nov 23): There is no war between Barisan Nasional (BN) and Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS), said Datuk Joniston Bangkuai.

The GRS information chief said the ‘war’ appeared to only exist in the media.

“I don’t see any war (except for what) I read in the papers.

“I don’t think the CM (Datuk Seri Panglima Hajiji Noor) wants to be at war with anyone. I think CM has the interests of the state and the people (at heart),” he told reporters at the Sabah Tourism Board office near here today.

Joniston also described BN Sabah chairman Datuk Bung Moktar Radin as a very rational leader who would consider what is good for the state and for the people.

According to Joniston, who is the Deputy Tourism, Culture and Environment Minister, the GRS-BN government is “doing very well” and the two components are compatible with one another.

“I think this is the best state government that Sabah has. In terms of the State Budget, this year is the largest in history,” he said, referring to the 2022 Sabah Budget of RM5.4 billion.

“I believe that next year’s budget will be another record.”

Joniston added that the GRS-BN government is working really hard together and pointed out the huge budget would not be achievable if both partners were not compatible with each other, or if there was no effectiveness and efficient administration among the leaders.

“I am really sure that this government will remain intact at the end of the day,” he said.

Bung Moktar recently claimed that Hajiji had broken a pre-election promise to support BN after the general election and alleged that this meant the Chief Minister had declared war on BN.

He said this would impact on their relationship and did not dismiss the possibility of withdrawing support for the state government.

During the just-concluded parliamentary election, BN and GRS cooperated when contesting Sabah’s 25 seats.

BN won seven seats, while GRS won six seats.

On Tuesday, Hajiji also dismissed claims of a war against BN.

“In fact, in the recent election, GRS and I personally went to campaign for BN candidates in their constituencies,” he said.

Hajiji added the promise between GRS and BN Sabah before the election was for GRS to support Umno/BN if the coalition qualified to form the government.

“However, when BN lost and Umno was not qualified to be prime minister, then the agreement becomes invalid by itself,” he said.