KOTA KINABALU, Nov 8 — The Gabungan Rakyat Sabah (GRS) coalition has listed the creation of the post of a deputy prime minister for Sabah as part its manifesto demands for the general election (GE15).

In the document, GRS said that Sabah will continue to pursue justice and political stability from Putrajaya and wants the federal government to appoint a deputy prime minister for the Bornean state.

“Demand that the federal government creates the post of deputy prime minister for the Sabah region with significant powers in terms of security and Sabah’s development,” it said.

Barisan Nasional (BN) chairman Datuk Seri Ahmad Zahid Hamidi had mooted the proposal during a visit to Sabah last year, but this had not been explicitly stated in the coalition’s manifesto.

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The manifesto, which GRS chairman Datuk Hajiji Noor presented, also said that elected representatives will continue to negotiate for reasonable costs of domestic air travel.

He also said the state will keep pushing for 35 per cent of federal seats to be allocated to Sabah and Sarawak until this was achieved.

“This is in line with the recommendations of the Cobbold Commission that parliamentary seats in Sabah and Sarawak must not be determined by population but also geographical size and area potential,” he said.

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Another highlight is to urge the federal government to implement an identity card specifically for Sabah citizens, in order to combat forged documents among foreigners.

Hajiji also listed the fight for Sabah to repaid its 40 per cent share of revenue derived from the state, the arrears of which date back to 1974.

Overall, the GRS manifesto listed 13 thrusts that took into account the views and sentiments of all its members.

Among these include empowering the state economy through agriculture, industrialisation and tourism; and empowering energy resources, including a takeover of the management of Sabah Electricity Sdn Bhd while also exploring more new energy sources or renewable energy.

It also pledged to ensure the federal government improves the level of security and education facilities by upgrading dilapidated schools in Sabah as well as health facilities. Others include focus on the development of women, family and communities; encouraging the participation of youths in the country’s development; and empowering Sabah's public service administration, he added.

Also present at the launch held at the Sabah International Convention Centre were GRS component leaders, namely Parti Bersatu Sabah (PBS) president Datuk Seri Maximus Ongkili, Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku (STAR) president Datuk Jeffrey Kitingan, Sabah Progressive Party (SAPP) president Datuk Yong Teck Lee and United Sabah National Organisation (Usno) president Tan Sri Pandikar Amin Mulia.