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Snap polls expected in Sabah

30 Jul 2020 / 09:17 H.

KOTA KINABALU: Sabah is heading towards snap polls after several assemblymen from the state government aligned themselves with former chief minister Tan Sri Musa Aman despite earlier pledging allegiance to Chief Minister Datuk Seri Mohd Shafie Apdal.

Warisan deputy president Datuk Darell Leiking yesterday said a state election should be called to return the mandate to the people.

The Penampang member of parliament was shocked that the elected representatives would betray the people like that and the proper thing to do is to let the people decide again.

“We are shocked with what has happened. We think a state election should be called and we return it to the rakyat to decide.

“This is something we are against. They have betrayed the mandate, which is for a full term. So the best thing is let’s go for an election,” he said.

Musa yesterday claimed that he has obtained a ‘simple majority’ to form a new state government.

After weeks of speculations, the Sungai Sibuga assemblyman finally broke his silence when he held a last minute press conference at his residence in Seri Anggerik last evening, claiming that a new coalition had been formed, comprising assemblymen from various political parties.

“I would like to announce that Home Minister Datuk Seri Hamzah Zainudin and the political secretary to the Prime Minister, Datuk Mohd Nardin Awang, have made a courtesy call to the Head of State (Tun Juhar Mahiruddin) to inform him that a new coalition, that is in support of Perikatan Nasional under the leadership of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin, has obtained a simple majority to form a new state government,” he told reporters.

Several assemblymen from the current government coalition were seen with Musa.

Among them were PKR’s Kenny Chua (Inanam), DAP’s Ronnie Loh (nominated assemblymen), Warisan’s Datuk Osman Jamal (Balung), Warisan’s Datuk Hamisa Samat (Tanjung Batu), Datuk Musbah Jamli (Tempasuk), Datuk Bolkiah Ismail (Pitas), Warisan’s Anita Baranting (Tandek), Warisan’s Datuk Abdul Muis Picho (Sebatik), Abdul Rahman Kongkawang (Labuk), Datuk Saddi Abdul Rahman (Sukau), Datuk Masiung Banah (Kuamut), independent Jafari William (nominated assemblyman) and Upko’s Datuk Abidin Madingkir (Paginatan).

Almost all of the assemblymen from the state opposition were also seen with Musa, including Bersatu’s Datuk Seri Hajiji Haji Noor (Sulaman), Bersatu’s Datuk Seri Masidi Manjun (Karanaan), Sabah Star’s Datuk Dr Jeffrey Kitingan (Tambunan), PBS’ Datuk Joniston Bangkuai (Kiulu) and PBS’ Datuk Jahid Jahim (Tamparuli).

Datuk Limus Jury (Kuala Penyu) and Datuk James Ratib (Sugut) who recently became independents, were also present.

At press time, a complete list of names of the assemblymen could not be fully ascertained.

Musa, who was all smiles during the press conference, said that he had received statutory declarations (SDs) from the assemblymen who had confirmed their stand to support the new coalition headed by him, and the Head of State had instructed him to submit all the statutory declarations.

“I have received the statutory declarations from those who have pledged their support to the new coalition that I would be leading,” he said.

When pressed to disclose the actual number of assemblymen, Musa merely said that he had ‘enough to obtain a simple majority’.

He said the next step now was to seek an audience with the Head of State.

Musa said that the new coalition would strive to improve and come up with better policies that would save Sabah from its economic crisis that was caused by the Warisan-led government.

“Together, with the help of the federal government, I believe we can overcome the challenges to propel the economy, create jobs and improve the lives of the people,” added Musa.

He also thanked all those who had ‘consistently’ supported him and stressed that he is not ‘expecting anything from them’ except for their ‘commitment and dedication towards the people’.

The Sabah State Legislative Assembly has 65 representatives, including five who are nominated. The simple majority is, therefore, 33 seats.

The current state government bloc has 45 seats in the assembly while the opposition has 20.

The government bloc consists of Parti Warisan Sabah (Warisan) with 31 seats, DAP (six), UPKO (two), PKR (two) and four nominated assemblymen.

As for the opposition bloc, Bersatu has nine seats, PBS (four), STAR (three), Independents (two), Umno (one) and one nominated assemblyman. -The Borneo Post

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