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KOTA KINABALU, Feb 21 — Umno president, Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi is confident that the Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) government is capable of bringing further progress to Sabah if the coalition continues to be strengthened.
In this regard, Ahmad Zahid urged all the parties under the coalition to find common ground in their respective parties in an effort to build GRS further.
“If we want to be strong, we should never look for points of parity ... look for points of similarity that can strengthen cooperation ... GRS’ mould should be welcomed to ensure Sabah continues to progress,” he said when officiating a virtual tahlil ceremony in conjunction with Sabah Umno 30th Anniversary here, last night.
Also present were Sabah chief minister Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor who is also the GRS chairman, and Sabah Umno chairman Datuk Seri Bung Moktar Radin.
GRS, made up of Perikatan Nasional (PN), Barisan Nasional (BN) and Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) formed the Sabah state government after the 16th state election last September.
Elaborating, Ahmad Zahid said though Umno is no longer the backbone of the state government, the party’s ‘DNA’ is still found in the leaders who lead the GRS government.
“The current Sabah chief minister (Hajiji) has Umno DNA.The previous chief minister (Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal) too has Umno DNA though he of a different party. Although Umno is now only part of the party that forms the state government, this does not affect the party’s struggle to defend the people.
“The people is of utmost importance, so let’s forget about our difference of opinion or that we are of different parties. What’s important is Sabah Umno’s determination to cooperate with all parties because this is about reality and the struggle must continue,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ahmad Zahid said Umno’s entry into Sabah 30 years ago and leading the state government for 28 years had greatly benefited the state.
“Its presence in Sabah had among others, brought closer ties between the people of this state and the peninsula. Umno has served the people here well and its focus was bringing development and reforms for the state to progress.
“In the three decades we have been in Sabah, we had gone through various obstacles and with the challenges we have become more mature,” he added. — Bernama