KOTA KINABALU, March 18 — Barisan Nasional (BN) is not officially part of the newly-registered Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS).

Its pro-tem chairman, Datuk Seri Hajiji Noor, yesterday announced that only Bersatu, Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS), Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) and Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) are officially part of the coalition.

Before its registration, GRS comprised Sabah Perikatan Nasional (Bersatu, STAR, SAPP, PAS and Gerakan), Barisan Nasional (Umno, PBRS, MIC and MCA) and PBS which defeated the then Warisan-plus state government in the Sabah state election in 2020.

Hajiji said the absence of Umno and its BN counterparts in GRS would not affect political stability in Sabah.

The chief minister said this was because BN was still an ally and part of the state government.

“We are together with Umno and BN in the GRS coalition government,” he told reporters after chairing the first meeting of GRS following its registration.

“The registration of GRS is a historical move aiming to achieve political stability in Sabah, with Umno and Barisan Nasional as our allies.

“By using GRS logo, we are hoping this coalition will strengthen the cooperation and unity for the betterment and development of the state,” he said.

“With the GRS registration, this is a new chapter in Sabah’s political history,” he said.

The GRS pro-tem deputy chairmen are PBS president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, STAR chief Datuk Seri Jeffrey Kitingan and SAPP president Datuk Yong Teck Lee. Sabah Bersatu deputy chief Datuk Masidi Manjun is the secretary-general.

The appointment of vice chairmen will be discussed in the second meeting.

Hajiji said that he was confident that Sabah would not suffer the same political conflict between Umno and Bersatu in Peninsular Malaysia, even without Umno and BN in GRS.

“In politics there are many possibilities but what happened in Melaka and Johor is not the same as Sabah,” he said, adding what was happening in Peninsular Malaysia would not affect the political situation in Sabah.

Hajiji also said the official launching for GRS will be held before end of May and the coalition is expected to contest in the 15th General Election.

On other parties wishing to join the coalition, he said a committee would be formed to study and review their applications.

“We will consider any parties who wish to join GRS. At the moment we have Parti Kesejahteraan Demokratik Masyarakat and Usno Baru expressing their intention to be with GRS,” he added.

On the call by MPs from Sabah and Sarawak to have one-third representation in Parliament, Hajiji said he supported it.

“We will pursue this. I support that Sabah should have more parliamentary seats. This is part of what we have agreed when we agreed to form Malaysia together,” he said.

He was commenting on the statement of Maximus who is Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department, in Dewan Rakyat regarding the issue.

Maximus also said that this should also be tabled in the state assembly of Sabah.

Currently, Sabah and Sarawak have 56 of the 222 parliamentary seats.

Meanwhile, Masidi said the registration of GRS was to create political stability in the state, adding that it was time to work for the people instead of spending too much time on politics.

Committee members for GRS who also attended the meeting on Friday were Datuk Rubin Balang, Datuk Seri Ruddy Awah and Edward Dagul. — Borneo Post